Stampede kills 11 Afghans seeking visas to leave country

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Afghan carry body of a woman who was killed in a stampede the city of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. At least 11 women were trampled to death when a stampede broke out Wednesday among thousands of Afghans waiting in a soccer stadium to get visas to Pakistan, officials said. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

KABUL – At least 11 women were trampled to death when a stampede broke out Wednesday among thousands of Afghans waiting in a soccer stadium to get visas to leave the country, officials said.

Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the governor of the eastern Nangarhar province, said another 13 people, mostly women, were injured at the stadium, where they were trying to get visas to enter neighboring Pakistan. He said most of those who died were elderly people from across Afghanistan.

Separately, at least 36 Afghan police were killed in an ambush by Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan, officials said.

It was the deadliest attack since the Taliban and the Afghan government began holding long-delayed peace talks last month, part of a process launched under a deal signed between the United States and the insurgents in February. The talks are seen as the country's best chance for peace after decades of war.

Rahim Danish, director of the main hospital in northern Takhar province, confirmed receiving 36 bodies and said another eight security forces were wounded.

An Afghan security official said the forces were in a convoy that was ambushed. The official, who was not authorized to brief media on the event and so spoke on condition of anonymity, said several police Humvees were set ablaze.

Jawad Hijri, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the deputy police chief was among those killed.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.