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Afghanistan: 15 killed in stampede near Pakistan consulate

Officials said that around 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa, Dawn News reported a day after the tragedy.

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Kabul: At least 15 people were killed when a stampede broke out near Pakistan’s consulate in Jalalabad city where thousands of Afghans had gathered on Tuesday to apply for visas, the agency news quoted officials in the eastern city of Jalalabad as saying on Wednesday.

Officials said that around 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa, Dawn News reported a day after the tragedy.

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in eastern Jalalabad city said that the problem started when the people present there began jostling and pushing one another to get hold of their token from the consulate and soon the crowd got out of control leading to the stampede.

He further said that among 15 people who died, 11 were women, adding that several senior citizens were among those wounded.

Tens of thousands of Afghans every year travel to neighbouring Pakistan to get medical treatment, education and jobs. The two countries share a nearly 2,600-kilometre border.

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

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

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