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15 Dead in Food Aid Stampede in Morocco

15 Dead in Food Aid Stampede in Morocco

Monday, 20 November, 2017 - 07:45
File photo of a police officer standing near a Moroccan national flag. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

At least 15 people have been killed and five others wounded in a stampede while food aid was being distributed in the village of Sidi Boulalam, in the southern province of Essaouira.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has given instructions to authorities that "all measures be taken to help the victims and their families."

The king also announced that he would pay for the hospitalization of the injured and burials of the dead, while the ministry of interior indicated that a full administrative investigation into the incident had been initiated.

Eyewitnesses reported that most of the injured were females who gathered to receive food aid of flour, oil, and sugar.

Sources reported that the stampede began at 10 in the morning when an unnamed charity from Casablanca began distributing the aid to thousands who had gathered in Sidi Boulaalam to receive food supplies.

Food distributions became a regular thing in the area and are often held where people, mostly women, gather from nearby villages to receive the aid, overcrowding the area and creating chaos.

A doctor in the region told Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency, that there were lots of people this year.

He explained that things got out of hand when people shoved and broke down the barriers, adding that the injured had been evacuated to a hospital in Marrakesh.

At least 15 female citizens have died and 10 others injured, including two in critical condition, reported the doctor.

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