At least 11 people, all women and children, were killed in a stampede at a food aid distribution center on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi.

This was reported by Al Jazeera with reference to the Pakistani police.

Outside the local factory, where one of the food aid centers has been set up, people have been gathering since early morning to pick up free food.

It is not known what exactly caused the incident, but suddenly screams were heard from the crowd and hundreds of people started pushing each other to enter the premises. 

According to the representative of the local administration, there were 600 to 700 people in the small industrial complex. 

Several people were also injured during the incident, some of them fell into a nearby sewer. 

Local media reported that eight women and three children were killed.

Magi Hashmi, a representative of the local police.

said the factory owner who had set up the food distribution center had not given any warning of his plans, so no extra security forces had been deployed there. 

The stampede in Karachi was the deadliest at a Ramadan food distribution center since the start of the Muslim holy month of fasting.

In total, the death toll at free food centers across the country has risen to at least 21.

Pakistan is facing one of the worst economic crises in its history.

Millions of people try to get free products.

Large crowds are gathering at distribution centers that opened last week to ease the effects of record inflation and soaring poverty.

It will be recalled that the head of the World Food Program stated that 70 million people may die of hunger. 

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