Conflicts & War

Stampede kills 11 people as Afghans jostle for Pakistani visas

Kabul, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- At least 11 people were killed and 13 injured in a stampede on a football ground where thousands had gathered to secure Pakistani visas in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, officials said.

A provincial governor spokesperson told EFE that the injured included 19 senior women citizens.

The spokesperson said people were trampled as tens of thousands of applicants jostled to submit their applications.

People had gathered on the open ground after the Pakistani embassy and consulates last week announced to resume visa services for the Afghans after nearly eight months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The authorities had decided to use the football ground for visa services to avoid expected large crowds in the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad city.

“More than 320 policemen and women and tens of administrative employees were deployed to organize the crowd. But the unfortunate incident happened due to a high number of applicants,” the governor office said in a statement.

The Pakistani consulate in Nangarhar serves as the regional center for visa applicants of eight Afghan provinces.

Most of the Afghans who apply for Pakistani visas are either visiting Pakistan for medical treatment or to visit their relatives and families as millions of Afghans have settled in the neighboring country since the last four decades of the conflict. EFE-EPA


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