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At least 20 dead in Bangladesh stampede

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — A rush to receive donated clothes resulted in a stampede in central Bangladesh that killed at least 20 people Friday, police said.

The stampede, which took place in Mymensingh district, injured dozens more, District Police Chief Moinul Haque told reporters.

Authorities fear the death toll may rise.

According to local reports, more than 1,500 gathered outside the gates of the tobacco factory before dawn after receiving word the owners would be handing out free clothes. The stampede occurred when many tried to force their way in, the reoprts said.

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to an end, the faithful perform Zakat, or an act of charity. Often, it comes in the form of providing clothing or money to the needy.

In the past, such well-meaning acts have also sometimes resulted in stampedes.

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