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Morocco food stampede kills and injures many

Morocco is mourning deaths caused by a stampede [AFP]

Date of publication: 19 November, 2017

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At least 15 Moroccans have been killed and others injured during a stampede in a southern village when volunteers handed out food aid.
At least 15 people have been killed and others injured following a stampede during a food distribution in a Moroccan town, the country's interior ministry said on Sunday.

The crush happened in Sidi Boulaalam, 90 miles south-west of Casablanca as aid was given out by charity workers with most of the dead believed to be women and the elderly.

The agricultural town, like others in the area, has suffered from a severe drought with charity helping farmers and villagers cope with losses.

Local media said a food stall set up in the town by a benefactor was soon "submerged in the crowd" of 800 people, mostly women.

Morocco investigators are looking to "determine the circumstances of the incident", while King Mohammed VI had issued orders to "provide the necessary help and support to the families of the victims and the injured".

He also decided to "personally cover the costs of victims' funerals and burials, and the care of the injured", the interior ministry said.

Morocco's drought has led to "thirst protests" about water shortages with supplies cut to some towns for days at a time.

Large farms which require huge water supplies for production have been blamed for the shortages.

A heatwave and lack of rainfall has led to over exploitation of ground water by farmers, particularly in the south where supplies have run dry.

Agencies contributed to this article.

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