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Nine die in New Year celebration in Uganda

Nine die in New Year celebration in Uganda
A local NTV news broadcast showed people in tears after the deadly incident. (Reuters)

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At least nine people have died in a crowd crush during New Year festivities in the Ugandan capital Kampala.

A number of children were killed in the incident, which unfolded at a shopping centre that hosted a fireworks display.

One eyewitness explained that people – including his friend – suffocated after getting caught between crowds that were moving in opposing directions.

Big gatherings for New Year’s Eve were allowed for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kampala police said people had attended a concert at Freedom City Mall in large numbers.

A crowd surge was said to occurred when partygoers tried to head back inside – having gone outdoors to see the midnight fireworks.

Five people – described as “mostly children, juveniles” – were said to have been killed after being stepped on.

The death toll was later put at nine after a number of people were taken to hospital.

An eyewitness, Ramadhan Aphongo, told local broadcaster NTV that a friend was among the victims: “She was enjoying, she was having fun, but due to loss of breath… eventually she died.”

An investigation is under way. (BBC)