At least 15 people died and five others injured in a stampede during distribution of food aid in Morocco’s southern province of Essaouira, a media report said.

The stampede, which took place in the village of Sidi Boulalam, occurred when local people rushed to get food, Xinhua news agency quoted Moroccan state TV channel 2M as reporting. Most of the victims were women and elderly people.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had given direct orders to support families of the victims, the Interior Ministry said.

Distributions of food aid are common in the North African nation, especially in remote areas. The activities are organised by private sponsors as well as by the authorities.