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At least 11 women killed in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Afghanistan

Stampede in Afghanistan kills several

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

At least 11 women have been killed and many more injured in a stampede in a stadium in Afghanistan where people were applying for visas, officials say.

Eleven women and four men died and several other elderly people were wounded after the crush in Jalalabad on Wednesday.

People started gathering at the stadium early in the morning after local officials instructed visa applicants to obtain tokens there, said Mohammad Ajmal Omar, a member of Nangahar provincial council.

Demand for a Pakistani visa has always been high in neighbouring Afghanistan, as thousands of Afghans annually travel to the country for purposes such as medical treatment and business.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Pakistani consulate had stopped issuing visa and resumed the service one week ago, the statement said.

Pakistan's ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan said today he was "deeply saddened" by the deadly stampede.

"Unfortunately this morning tens of thousands of people had come to the football stadium which led to the tragic incident", provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

"The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials. the crowd got out of control, leading to a stampede", a Jalalabad official told Reuters.

'We are committed to continue visa issuance to Afghan nationals under new visa policy while making the process smoother and streamlined at our end'.

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