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At least two dead following stadium overcrowding in Iraq


At least two people have been killed with dozens injured following an overcrowding at a stadium in southern Iraq.

The deadly incident happened as spectators gathered to attend the final match in the first international football tournament held in the country in four decades.

Nawar Mouhammed, a local onlooker, said the incident occurred following the arrival of "huge numbers of people" to the stadium and that he witnessed "several people suffocate."

Saddam Hassan, an ambulance driver at the scene, said the "mechanism for entering the stadium was wrong, which led to plenty of people gathering and pushing in front of the iron fence of the stadium near the runway."

He added that mostly young families and older people were injured in the incident.

The official Iraqi News Agency said some of the 60 people who were injured outside the Basra International Stadium were in critical condition.

The eight-nation Arabian Gulf Cup tournament includes teams from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - as well as Yemen and Iraq.

It is the first time since 1979 that Iraq has hosted the tournament.

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