A grenade attack shook the Rwandan capital on Wednesday, wounding at least seven people, as President Paul Kagame was declared winner of a much-criticised election devoid of real opposition.
A grenade was thrown near Kigali's main bus station, police spokesman Captain Eric Kayiranga told AFP, hours after Kagame was declared to have won Monday's vote by landslide following a campaign marked by arrests and killings.
Rwanda grenade attack marks Kagame's presidential win
"There are at least seven wounded, including two children," he said.
Kagame, who has led the tiny east African nation since some 800,000 people were butchered in a 100-day genocidal spree in 1994, won 93 percent of the votes in Monday's contest, the electoral commission said.
But Commonwealth observers said the election had been devoid of "critical opposition voices", with key figures opposed to Kagame's rule unable to stand.
Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo of the Social Democratic Party was second with 5.15 percent of the vote, while the Liberal Party's Prosper Higiro won 1.37 percent, the electoral body said. A fourth candidate won less than half a percent.
Observers from the Commonwealth, of which Rwanda became a member last year, said the campaign was marked by "a lack of critical opposition voices."
"A number of opposition parties had earlier stated their intention to stand, but faced either legal or administrative problems, which resulted in their non-participation.
"Each case appears to be different, but the overall impact is a concern," the observers said in a statement.
The chairman of the Great Lakes Human Rights League, Joseph Sahane, told AFP there were irregularities and voiced regret that "the pre-electoral period was marked by arrests and killings."
The European Union hailed the "calm atmosphere and the very high turnout of voters," but EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and development commissioner Andris Piebalgs noted that "some progress remains to be made in ensuring fundamental freedoms."
While his supporters continued celebrations that began on Monday night, Kagame denied any involvement over the killing of a journalist and an opposition figure which formed part of a bloody backdrop to the vote.
Three new parties set up to challenge Kagame's rule were barred from the contest on procedural grounds. They denounced the poll as a sham.
One of them, Unified Democratic Forces (UDF), claimed irregularities, saying that in some areas voters had their voting cards "seized by the local authorities" on the eve of the poll. The cards were handed back just before the election with "Voted" marked on them, UDF alleged.
Several other observer missions confined themselves to praising the good organisation of the poll.
Kagame has won widespread praise for presiding over a transformation in the country's economic fortunes and counts former US president Bill Clinton and ex-British prime minister Tony Blair among his admirers.
But human rights activists have become increasingly critical of the situation in Rwanda, with UN chief Ban Ki-moon joining calls for a full probe into the two high-profile deaths in the build-up to the election.
Journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage, who claimed to have uncovered the state's responsibility in the attempted murder of an army general exiled in South Africa, was shot dead on June 24 in Kigali.
Last month Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, vice president of the Green Party, was killed and his half-decapitated body was found dumped in a bog.
Speaking to a local radio station late Tuesday, the Rwandan leader denied his government was involved in the deaths.
"This so-called journalist, I didn't know he was even a journalist," Kagame told Contact FM. "That story has nothing to do with the elections."
Asked whether Rwisereka's death was a case of the state trying to do away with an opponent, Kagame replied: "Absolutely not. He was not known to me."
He accused some media of making up stories, saying: "They start with a story they want to create, then they start building elements."