15 killed in stampede near Pakistani Consulate in Afghanistan

22 October 2020, Kabul

At least 15 people died in a stampede that occurred near Pakistan’s consulate on Tuesday as jostling broke out between people applying for visas, authorities said.

An estimated 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground, usually used for sports or pubic gatherings, outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens required to apply for a visa, according to media outlets.

An Afghan news channel transmitted images of them holding passports aloft to secure a token. Images taken after the stampede showed scores of passports strewn across the ground.

“The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials…the crowd got out of control, leading to a stampede,” said an Afghan official.

A survivor described to Reuters how tempers frayed and the crowd became unruly in the lead up to the stampede.

Eleven of the 15 victims were women, and several senior citizens were among more than a dozen injured, Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member, said.

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

(With inputs from Agencies)

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