Ten crushed to death, 120 injured at Angola church event

LISBON Tue Jan 1, 2013 10:12pm GMT

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LISBON (Reuters) - Ten people were crushed to death and 120 injured in the Angolan capital Luanda as they tried to enter an overcrowded stadium for a vigil organised by a Pentecostal church, the state news agency Angop reported on Tuesday.

Angop cited an emergency services spokesman as saying the victims, including four children, were crushed at the gates of the Cidadela Desportiva stadium, where the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) organised a vigil on Monday night.

IURD is a Pentecostal Christian church created in 1977 in Brazil, where it has over 8 million followers, according to its own website. IURD says it is present in most countries of the world.

Ferner Batalha, IURD's deputy bishop for Angola, said the vigil had been overcrowded.

"Our expectation was to have 70,000 people, but that was surpassed by far," Angop cited him as saying.

(Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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