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At least 15 dead in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Afghanistan

Reuters/Kabul/Jalalabad
Filed on October 21, 2020 | Last updated on October 21, 2020 at 11.09 am
Afghanistan, visas, Pakistan consulate, stampede, Afghans

(File photo)

Over 3,000 Afghans had congregated to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa to travel to Pakistan.

At least 15 people were killed in stampede among thousands of Afghans gathered outside Pakistan's consulate on Tuesday as jostling broke out between people applying for visas, officials in the eastern city of Jalalabad said.

An estimated 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa, two provincial officials told Reuters a day after the tragedy.

Eleven of the 15 victims were women, and several senior citizens were among more than a dozen injured, Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member, said. "The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials...the crowd got out of control, leading to a stampede," said an official in Jalalabad said.

Tens of thousands of Afghans every year travel to neighbouring Pakistan to secure medical treatment, education and jobs. The two countries share a nearly 2,600-kilometer border.

Pakistan hosts about 3 million Afghan refugees and economic migrants, who have fled violence, religious persecution and poverty in their war-torn country.

Officials in the Pakistan embassy in Kabul were not immediately available for comment.





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