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At least 36 dead in Mali stadium stampede

At least 36 people were killed in an overnight stampede at a stadium in Mali's capital, state radio reported on Tuesday.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2011 15:18 IST

At least 36 people were killed in an overnight stampede at a stadium in Mali's capital, state radio reported on Tuesday.

Thousands of people had gathered at the Modibo Keita stadium in Bamako to listen to an Islamic preacher, who was speaking as part of the Muslim festival of Maouloud, when the stampede started.

There was no official explanation for the stampede but one witness told Reuters it started when people surged forward to touch the preacher for good luck and the toll could be as high as 44.

An official involved in the organisation of the event said nearly all those killed were women.

Crowds of people were gathering at the hospital on Tuesday morning to identify the bodies.

At least 26 people were killed during Maouloud last year in a stampede near a mosque in Mali's northern desert city of Timbuktu.