By Chris King • 19 January 2023 • 17:54
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A stampede outside the Basra International Stadium in southern Iraq this morning, Thursday, January 19, left at least two football fans dead. Dozens more are reported to have been injured in the subsequent crush that occurred prior to the Arabian Cup final between Iraq and Oman.
The horrendous incident happened as fans gathered in anticipation of the big football match due to kick-off at 7pm local time. International games have been a rarity due to the ongoing instability in the Middle Eastern country.
According to Aladiwa News on its official Telegram channel, many fans are critical after being transferred to Basra General Hospital. They reported that around 60 people had been injured.
A spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry explained: “A large number of fans, many of them without tickets, had gathered since first light to try to get in”.
An update from a doctor at the medical facility confirmed that two patients had died and another 38 had been injured. Other patients had already been discharged they added.
Footage uploaded onto social media showed the harrowing scenes as thousands of people got caught up in the stampede. A photographer on the scene from AFP claimed that the stadium’s turnstiles had not even been opened as the incident evolved on the small concourse outside the ground.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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