Police in Bangladesh say at least 30 women and children have been killed in a stampede after nearly 10-thousand poor people gathered to receive Zakat during Ramadan from a businessman. Unofficially it is thought that 39 people have died. A local newspaper editor , an eyewitness from Gaibandha , in an interview with VOA said that he saw atleast 34 dead bodies in the hospital. He also claims that atleast 6 children died.Local authorities say the death toll could rise as a number of people were seriously hurt.
Reports from Gaibandha, nearly 200 kilometers north of the capital, Dhaka, say the stampede happened as workers at the businessman's house prepared to distribute free clothes. The victims were crushed as the crowd of mostly women --many with their children -- pressed against a gate and wall of a building at the home.
.The businessman was giving away the clothes as part of the Muslim tradition of charity ahead of the Eid-al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan later this month.
[ To listen to a report and an interview on this, click on 1600 UTC]