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Visa Melee Leads to Stampede, Deaths in Afghanistan
People carry the coffin of one of the victims of Wednesday’s stampede near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP via Getty Images)

Visa Melee Leads to Stampede, Deaths in Afghanistan

At least 15 people in the eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad were killed on Wednesday in a stampede that ripped through a crowd of thousands waiting to apply for visas to Pakistan. The incident took place in a stadium outside the city’s Pakistani consulate. Visa hopefuls were waiting to be given numbers for appointments and jostling for position when altercations broke out, leading to the stampede, which also injured dozens. The dead reportedly included 11 women. The consulate resumed issuing visas last week after a seven-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Tens of thousands of Afghan citizens travel each year to Pakistan for schooling or medical treatment, or in search of jobs. A statement from Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, expressed “deep grief and sadness” over the casualties in Jalalabad while blaming Afghani officials for the conditions that led to the stampede. Afghanistan shares a border of about 1,600 miles with Pakistan.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

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