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A fire ripped through makeshift shelters at a Muslim religious retreat in Senegal, killing at least 22 people and triggering a stampede, firefighters said on Thursday.
The blaze broke out on Wednesday as worshippers gathered in the town of Medina Gounass in the southeastern region of Tambacounda, a senior official with the firefighting service said.
The cause was as yet unknown, the official said.
Images of billowing clouds of smoke, the charred corpses of animals and devastation at the site circulated online, testifying to the fire’s impact.
While some victims were badly burnt, others were hurt in the panicked stampede triggered by the blaze, the firefighter added.
Around 20 of the injured are in a serious state and are being treated at the regional hospital in Tambacounda city, around 80 kilometres away.
The fire ripped through straw shelters constructed for the multi-day event, according to Senegal’s local press, allowing it spread rapidly through an open-air gathering packed with people.
Senegalese Muslims gather in their hundreds, even thousands, to worship at the site every year, and pilgrims were weighed down with food and luggage, the local press reported.
A similar incident at the same site in 2010 caused the deaths of six people and several injuries, Le Quotidien newspaper reported.
Senegal’s poor record on fire safety was also thrown into the spotlight in 2013 when a fire in a Koranic school killed nine children, triggering an outcry and calls for tighter regulation.
Salah withdraws from Egypt Squad
Egypt Football Federation has leave out Mohammed Salah on the upcoming AFCON qualifiers match with Kenya due to injury worries.
Egypt were grouped with kenya, Togo, Comoros in Group G, football fans has tipped Egypt to top the group due to their attacking threat.
The Egyptian talisman has now been ruled out of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers after due assessment by Egypt’s medical team.
The physios believe the Liverpool star’s injury, which was sustained from a challenge by Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury earlier last month, has been aggravated during the clash against Manchester City and needed time to heal.
The Egyptian frontman will miss the two matches scheduled this week.
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Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures
Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.
It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.
But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.
These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.
Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.
The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.
The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.
In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey
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