27 killed, 50 injures in Pakistan

At least 27 women and children were killed and 50 injured in a stampede at an Islamic religious gathering here today, provincial health minister said.

"I can confirm you that 27 have been killed and 50 injured in the stampede," Shabbir Kayamkhani said in a brief statement, adding "a state of emergency in all the hospitals has been declared and the off days of all the doctors have been cancelled."

Police officials feared the casualty list was like to rise but refused to speculate. "Of the 40 injured, 20 have been discharged after providing treatment but the condition of eight is very critical and the doctors were working hard to save their lives."

The stampede occurred at an Islamic center of a Sunni Muslim group in down town Karachi and was triggered when a boy fell on the exit and his mother tried to pick him and save him from being crushed to death, eyewitnesses said, reports the Hindu.

I.L.