Local officials believe that nine people have died in Ghana's second city, Kumasi, after a stampede at a party to mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan. Up to 300 people were said to have been in a community centre in the Asawase area of Ghana's second city on Wednesday 6 July to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer.

A number of revellers were said to have been injured and were taken to a nearby hospital with one person is in a critical condition. The city is around 160 miles northwest of the capital, Accra and there has been a number of conflicting reports as to how the stampede started.

Shoes belonging to some of those who had been at the party were pictured on the floor outside the building. Police say that six females and three males died in the tragedy.

One eyewitness has been quoted as saying that a power cut caused panic and the crush occurred as people scrambled to leave the building. But AFP quoted local MP Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka as saying that there may have been a fight inside the venue.

Carnivals have often been flashpoints for violence among youths and the official said that the organisers of the party had told police it would end by 9pm (2100 GMT) and that a group came to the venue where a fight broke out.

"In a bid for people to rush out ... there was this stampede," said Muntaka, from President John Dramani Mahama's National Democratic Congress.

But the head of a Kumasi local government assembly, Nurudeen Hamidan, said that police are now trying to establish exactly what happened on one of the most sacred days in the Islamic calendar. He said: "People are saying so many things. Some are saying that there was a lights out and the meter sparked and the sound of the meter made people agitated.

"Others are saying that they finished the programme, they were leaving and there was a stampede along the way. As to what caused the actual stampede the security agencies are working to unravel what happened and we will take it on from there."

African pilgrim at Mecca
The crush that killed nine people happened in Ghana's second city of Kumasi MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP/Getty Images