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At Least 15 Afghans Killed In Stampede Near Pakistan's Jalalabad Consulate

The deadly incident occurred inside a football stadium where thousands had gathered to secure visas from the Pakistani consulate

At least 15 people were killed and 10 injured in a stampede that occurred inside a football stadium in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar Province, where thousands had gathered on October 20 to secure visas from the Pakistani consulate, officials said on October 21.

Sohrab Qaderi, a council member in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, where the incident occurred said that, of the 15 people dead, 11 were women, while several senior citizens were injured.

Zahir Adil, the spokesperson for the public health directorate in Nangarhar, told RFE/RL that the bodies of 11 women had been transported so far to the local hospital.

Two other provincial officials said over 3,000 Afghans had gathered to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa to travel to Pakistan.

Pakistan restricted the number of visas for Afghans earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials at the Pakistani Embassy were not immediately available for comment.

Most Afghans travel to Pakistan for medical treatment. Those who apply for visas in the capital, Kabul, in Jalalabad, or Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, complain of irregularities and poor management.

Pakistan has promised to ease the processing of visas for Afghans and introduced a new visa regime on October 16.

With reporting by Reuters