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Food donation causes stampede, killing at least eight in Zambia

LUSAKA (Xinhua) -- At least eight people were killed on Monday while 28 others injured in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, during a stampede to collect food, the police said.

The victims were among about 35,000 who had rushed to the Olympic Youth Development Center where a group called Lesedi Seven had invited people for prayers as well to receive food hampers.

Esther Katongo, the police spokesperson said the incident happened in the early hours of Monday as the crowd jostled to enter the premises.

Five people died on the spot while three died from hospitals where they were rushed for medical attention, she added.

Among the dead included six females, one adult male and one male juvenile.

"We have since dispersed the gathering and an inquiry into the matter has been instituted," she said in a statement.

The group, which is under the Church of Christ, had issued a statement last week that it would be donating food parcels, which includes maize meal to 35,000 people and that most of the recipients would be people with special needs, unemployed as well as other members of the public.

It had said it would employ about 1,000 people to help with the distribution.



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