12 killed in visa application stampede at Afghanistan stadium
Kabul – At least 12 people were killed, the majority of them women, in a stampede in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar as tens of thousands of people rushed in a stadium while applying for visas, officials said on Wednesday.
Many others were also wounded in the crowd in the provincial capital Jalalabad, provincial council members Ajmal Omar and Suhrab Qaderi told dpa.
The stampede was created when tens of thousands of applicants for a Pakistani visa were rushing to receive tokens needed for the application, the officials said.
Around 30-40 000 residents of the province were gathered in a stadium trying to apply, the officials said.
Demand for a Pakistani visa has always been high in neighbouring Afghanistan, as thousands of Afghans annually travel to the country for purposes such as medical treatment and business.
The demand has also opened doors to corruption and a source of income for many who act as a facilitator to obtain visas faster via unofficial routes.