Ten die in Bangladesh stampede for alms ahead of Ramadan, 50 hurt

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (Reuters) - A stampede on Monday by thousands of poor villagers outside the home of a businessman distributing alms ahead of Ramadan killed at least 10 women and injured about 50 people, police in southeast Bangladesh said.

It is a custom for devout Muslims to donate money or goods to the poor before or during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin on Wednesday or Thursday this week.

The stampede began after people jostled to collect clothes and other items at the residence of the owner of a steel mill, said police official Rafiqul Alam in the district of Chittagong, about 260 km (165 miles) from Dhaka, the capital.

“There were 10,000 to 12,000 people, mostly women and trying to push to each other to collect alms ahead of other and that led stamped,” he told Reuters.

The injured were treated at a nearby hospital and allowed to go, police said.

Reporting by Nazimuddin Shyamol; Editing by Clarence Fernandez