15 people killed while running for food

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November 20, 2017
FILE - An October 19 file photo shows Moroccan women filling up containers with water from a hose, in Zagora, southeastern Morocco. Experts blame poor choices in agriculture, growing populations and climate change for the water shortages in towns like Zagora, which has seen repeated protests for access to clean water in recent weeks.

RABAT, Morocco (AP):

A stampede in a southern Moroccan village left at least 15 people dead and five others injured Sunday as food aid was being distributed, the Interior Ministry said.

The crush took place in the village of Sidi Boulalam, as a local association was distributing food aid in a local weekly 'souk', or market.

King Mohammed VI has given instructions that "all measures be taken to help the victims and their families," the ministry said.

The king will pay for the hospitalisation of the wounded and the burials of the dead, according to the statement.

Alyaoum24.com, a local and reliable news website, reported that people were rushing for food aid whose value was about $16 per person.

The mayor Essaouira, Hicham Jbari, told The Associated Press that the tragedy's victims have been transported to his town's hospital.

Sidi Boulalam is about 60 kilometres (35 miles) from the city of Essaouira.

Distributions of food aid are common in the North African nation, notably in remote parts of the country.