Many dead in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Afghanistan

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 21, 2020

Many people were trampled when they tried to exit the stadium in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, provincial hospital spokesman Zaher Adel said.

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

People started gathering at the stadium early in the morning after local officials instructed visa applicants to obtain tokens there, said Mohammad Ajmal Omar, a member of Nangahar provincial council.

Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, said he was "deeply saddened" by the incident and that his country was "engaged with Afghan authorities for better facilitation of visa applicants". The two countries share a almost 2,600-kilometer border.

Most Afghans visit Pakistan for medical treatment or to see relatives.

Jawad Hijri, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the deputy police chief was among those killed. Zawak confirmed the fighting killed at least one Afghan soldier and wounded several others.

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

Gun-battles were also raging in neighboring Kandahar province Wednesday following two Taliban suicide auto bombings there.

The increased violence in Afghanistan has undermined ongoing USA -brokered peace negotiations between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government.

The dialogue in Doha, Qatar, is the product of a U.S. -Taliban agreement reached in February aimed at closing the 19-year-old Afghan war, America's longest.

Afghanistan's health and educational systems have been ravaged by four decades of conflict and violence continues on a daily basis.

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