FILE PHOTO: 12 visa applicants in eastern Afghanistan killed in stampede
Photo credit: Yahoo Finanace

At least 12 people were killed, majority of them women, in a stampede in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar.

The stampede happened as tens of thousands of people rushed into a stadium while applying for Pakistan visas and trying to receive tokens needed for the application, 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.

About 30,000 to 40,000 residents of the province were gathered in the stadium trying to apply, the officials said.

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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 facilitators to obtain visas faster via unofficial routes.