At least 11 women were killed Wednesday in a stampede at a stadium in eastern Afghanistan where thousands had gathered to apply for visas at a nearby Pakistan consulate, officials said.
Many people were trampled when they tried to exit the stadium in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, leaving 10 others injured, provincial hospital spokesman Zaher Adel said.
“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 Pakistan consulate had resumed issuing visas last week after a seven month pause because of the coronavirus outbreak.
To avoid large crowds from gathering at the visa centre the applicants had been directed to a nearby football stadium in Jalalabad, Khogyani said.
In ultra-conservative Afghanistan it is customary for women to queue separately from men.
Thousands of Afghans from Nangarhar and other nearby provinces had arrived since the early morning to apply for medical visas or to visit relatives.