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Stampede during Pakistan ration distribution kills 11

Eleven people have been killed in a stampede during the distribution of food aid in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say.

April 1, 2023
1 April 2023

At least 11 people have been killed in southern Pakistan during free ration distribution.

The incident took place in the port city of Karachi where at least eight women and three children were killed in a stampede. 

“Dozens of people got injured in the stampede at a private charity,” Muhammad Bilal, a spokesman for rescue service Edhi said.

The number of dead is feared to increase, he said.

Local police said they were not informed about the ration distribution and that no arrangements were made to deal with the emergency situation.

Geo TV reported that at least seven people had been arrested for investigations.

Several similar incidents have been reported in recent weeks at government-backed free flour distribution points. 

About a dozen people have been killed since the start of Ramadan when the government started the free ration scheme to help families struggling with high inflation.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced free flour for millions of Pakistanis during the holy month to mitigate their economic woes amid record-breaking high inflation.

Pakistan has been facing a deepening political crisis since former prime minister Imran Khan was removed in a vote of no confidence last year. 

The political instability has worsened the country’s ailing economy which on the verge of collapse.

Pakistan is seeking the revival of a $US7-billion ($A10 billion) bailout package that was agreed upon in 2019 but has been suspended several times over the country’s inability to meet the conditions.

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