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At Least 15 Killed in Afghan Stampede While Waiting for Pakistan Visas

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At Least 15 Killed in Afghan Stampede While Waiting for Pakistan Visas

The stampede occurred in a stadium in Jalalabad city where thousands of Afghans had gathered to secure visas from the consulate, officials said on Wednesday.

At least 11 women were trampled to death when a stampede broke out Wednesday among thousands of Afghans waiting in a stadium to get visas to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials in Afghanistan say a stampede near Pakistan's consulate in an eastern border city and insurgent attacks elsewhere in the war-torn country have killed about 50 people.

In a tweet posted through his @ImranKhanPTI official handle, the Pakistani leader said: "Deeply saddened by the tragic deaths & casualties in a stampede in Jalalabad of Afghans wanting to get Pakistani visas".

The incident occurred in an open ground where thousands of Afghans had gathered to secure visas from the Pakistan consulate in eastern Afghanistan.

Attaullah Khugyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said around 300 police had been tasked with managing the crowd.

It noted that the stadium is five kilometers away from the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad where Afghan authorities gather and organize visa applicants.

Eleven of the 15 victims were women, and several elderly people were among more than a dozen injured, said provincial council member Sohrab Qaderi. In ultra-conservative Afghanistan it is customary for women to queue separately from men. "Some had miscarriages", the traumatised woman told AFP, declining to be named.

'We are engaged with Afghan authorities for better facilitation of visa applicants, ' the diplomat said. We helped her but her baby was dead.

Many Afghans travel each year to neighbouring Pakistan to visit relatives, seek medical treatment, find jobs or escape the ongoing violence in their own country.

"When the officials announced that the gates were opening in the morning, everybody rushed to enter the stadium to be the first to deliver their passports", Ahad said. In return, the Taliban is bound to fight terrorism on Afghan soil and reach a political power-sharing arrangement with rival factions to end four decades of conflict in Afghanistan.

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