At least 11 women were trampled to death when a stampede broke out Wednesday (local time) among thousands of Afghans waiting in a football 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 neighbouring Pakistan.
He said most of those who died were elderly people from across Afghanistan.
The Pakistani Consulate in Nangarhar was closed for almost eight months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Anticipating a large crowd, officials decided to use the stadium and assigned 320 staffers to help manage the process, Khogyani said.
The Pakistani Embassy in Kabul said it has issued more than 19,000 visas in the past week alone after Islamabad approved a friendlier visa policy and reopened the border in September following months of closure.
Millions of Afghans have fled to Pakistan to escape war and economic hardship, while thousands travel back and forth for work and business, or to receive health care.