National News

At least 15 dead in Congo soccer stadium stampede

By The Associated Press

KINSHASA, Congo - At least 15 people were killed in a stampede at a soccer stadium in Congo, government officials said.

The stampede happened amid a playoff match between two popular Congolese teams, V. Club TP Mazembe, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry read on national television late Sunday.

Gov. Andre Kimbuta said at least 21 other people were injured during the melee that followed.

U.N.-backed Radio Okapi, citing witnesses, said police had fired tear gas after angry fans threw objects onto the field in the final minutes of the match.

Altercations have previously erupted when V. Club played TP Mazembe.

Sanctions had been imposed last season on the teams after a match between them in the city of Lubumbashi, Radio Okapi reported.

More than 20 people were killed on April 25 in ithe town of Kikwit in southwest Congo when generators failed during a festival honouring a popular singer, plunging the stadium into darkness and causing a stampede.

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