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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 13:01 UK

Indonesia stampede leaves 21 dead

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It is still unclear what sparked the stampede

At least 21 people have been killed and several others have been injured in a stampede in Indonesia, according to local officials and media reports.

The crush happened as people waited for charity handouts from a wealthy family in the East Javan town of Pasuruan.

The cash handouts, of up to $4 per person, are a tradition during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Television footage showed women screaming as they were pushed into a fence by the crowd.

Annual event

Under a system known as Zakat, wealthy Muslims are required to give away a portion of their money to the poor every year.

There were several thousand people in the crowd waiting to be given money from a rich family.

Map

Some people collapsed because of a lack of oxygen and others were trampled. The injured people were being treated in hospital, according to the state news agency.

A worker at the local Morgue, known as Budi, said that most of the dead were women.

The mayor of Pasuruan, Aminurrahman, said it was unclear what had sparked the stampede.

"It's an annual activity from that family," he told local radio, "but there were a lot more people lining up today than in previous years."




SEE ALSO
Timeline: Indonesia
07 Aug 08 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Indonesia
07 Aug 08 |  Country profiles



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