*** ----> At least 11 killed in Pakistan Ramadan donation stampede | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

At least 11 killed in Pakistan Ramadan donation stampede

AFP | Karachi                                                   

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com    

At least 11 people were killed in a crowd crush in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi Friday as a Ramadan alms donation sparked a stampede in the inflation-hit nation, police said.

Pakistan has been wracked by economic turmoil for months, with the rupee crumbling and staple food prices shooting up nearly 50 percent as the country battles a balance of payments crisis which has forced it into bail-out talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Fida Janwari, a senior police officer in western Karachi’s Baldia Town neighbourhood, said the stampede happened when needy women with children flocked to a factory distributing alms.

“Panic struck and people started running,” he told AFP. A local administration official said 600 to 700 people were corralled in a small industrial compound.

“When they opened the main gate, all the people rushed in,” added 22-year-old Fatima Noor, whose sister died in the crush. The bodies of six women and three children were brought to the Abbasi Shaheed state hospital, spokesman Muhammad Farraukh said.

An official for the Rescue NGO told AFP an additional two bodies were sent to another hospital, and police surgeon Summaiya Syed Tariq confirmed the total toll of 11 late Friday. Asma Ahmed, 30, said her grandmother and niece were among the dead.