US consoles Cambodia after stampede

2010-11-23 08:56
The shoes and belongings of Cambodians, who died in a stampede, cover a bridge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Tuesday. (Philip Heijmans, AP)

The shoes and belongings of Cambodians, who died in a stampede, cover a bridge in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Tuesday. (Philip Heijmans, AP)

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Washington - The United States on Monday extended its "deep condolences" for the nearly 350 lives lost during deadly stampede in Cambodia's capital.

"On behalf of President (Barack) Obama and the people of the United States, I offer our deep condolences for the tragic loss of life and the injuries in Phnom Penh during Cambodia's annual Water Festival," said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and with all the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia," she added in a statement.

Clinton remarked on the "strength and resilience" of the Cambodian people she observed "first hand" during her recent visit earlier this month to the country.

"I am confident that they will pull together and persevere through this difficult time," she added.

Cambodia began the grim task on Tuesday of identifying 347 people - two thirds of them women - crushed to death in a bridge stampede when revellers panicked at a huge water festival in Phnom Penh.

More than 400 people were also injured in the disaster, Cambodia's deadliest in decades, which took place late on Monday on an overcrowded narrow bridge as millions celebrated the end of the annual three-day event.

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