A stampede outside a stadium in southern Iraq on Thursday killed at least two people and injured dozens, a health official said.
The deadly incident happened as spectators gathered to attend the final match in the first international soccer tournament held in the country in four decades.
The official Iraqi News Agency said some of the 60 people who were injured outside the Basra International Stadium were in critical condition.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry in a statement urged people without tickets for the final match to leave the stadium area. It said the stadium was full and that all gates have been closed.
Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who arrived in Basra on Thursday, urged people to help authorities in order to “show the final match of 25th edition of the Gulf Cup in its most beautiful form”.
The Oman Football Association said Omani citizens, who are currently at Basra’s airport, would start returning home for their own safety and in order to help Iraqi authorities make the final match “successful”.
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