10 killed in stampede at Bangladeshi politician's funeral

Tens of thousands of people gathered for the funeral of senior Bangladeshi politician Mohiuddin Chowdhury in Chittagong on Dec 18, 2017. PHOTO: THE DAILY STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH (AFP) - Ten people were killed and dozens injured in a stampede on Monday (Dec 18) after tens of thousands of people gathered for a funeral feast in Bangladesh's southern city of Chittagong, police said.

Police and hospital staff said they feared the death toll could rise.

"So far we can confirm the death toll of 10 people," city police chief Iqbal Bahar told AFP.

"The death toll could rise as 15 people are critically injured," said another police official, Mohammad Alauddin.

Police staged baton charges to clear the crowd who packed community centres for the feast commemorating a former city mayor.

Mohiuddin Chowdhury, a senior politician of the ruling Awami League party and a three-term mayor of the country's second largest city, died on Friday.

In line with Muslim tradition his family and the party hosted the feast, which drew at least 100,000 people to several locations, said private television station Jamuna.

TV footage showed scores of sandals and shoes littering the Rima Community Centre in the Jamal Khan neighbourhood where the stampede happened.

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