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23 die in charity handout stampede

A stampede in central Bangladesh has left at least 22 women and a child dead as hundreds of people stormed the home of a businessman for a charity handout during the holy month of Ramadan, police said.

Another 30 were injured and taken to hospital in Mymensingh, a town 70 miles north of the capital Dhaka, said police officer Kamrul Islam.

The crowd gathered outside the tobacco businessman's home and stormed in when the gates were opened to distribute free clothing, Mr Islam said.

The dead included 22 women and one child, he said. Survivors said there were about 1,000 people, mostly elderly women, in front of the house.

Ambia Begum, 45, came with seven female relatives at dawn. One of them died in the stampede.

"Oh Allah, why I came here? Why?" she wailed as the body of her 60-year-old relative was retrieved.

The businessman distributes clothes every year ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan.

Authorities detained six people including the businessman, who did not request police presence at his house on the occasion.

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