15 killed in stampede amid food aid distribution in Morocco

Morocco flag. File News

At least 15 people were killed and five injured Sunday in a crush as food aid was distributed near the coastal tourist town of Essaouira in western Morocco, officials said.

At least 17 people, majority women, have been killed and 38 injured in a stampede during the distribution of food aid in the Essaouira, Morocco's west, on Sunday, Moroccan media reported, citing official sources.

Morocco's Ministry of Interior issued a statement announcing King Mohammed VI has instructed Moroccan authorities to provide necessary aid to the families of the victims. The king will pay for the hospitalization of the wounded and the burials of the dead, according to the statement.

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Medical workers have said that the information about the number of casualties is preliminary and that the victims were mostly women.

Regional health director Khalid Zenjari told The Associated Press that six of the injured were evacuated to the city of Essaouira, about 35 miles away, while four were treated locally.

Distribution of food aid is common in the North African nation, particularly in remote areas. The activities are organised by private sponsors as well as by the authorities.

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