19 drown during Eid celebrations
At least 19 people have drowned off beaches in southern Pakistan because of heavy waves and strong currents, rescuers said today.
Shoaib Sadiqui, administrator of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, said the victims ignored safety warnings.
He said a large number of people had gathered on the beaches yesterday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Farooq Baluch, director of Pakistan's largest private emergency service, said rescuers had recovered 19 bodies from the water near the southern city.
Mr Sadiqui said rescuers from the Pakistani navy and Baluch's Edhi Foundation were still combing the waters for missing people.
"This is a very sad incident, and we are using all of our resources to trace and rescue some of the remaining missing people," he said.
"We had imposed a ban on bathing and swimming on the beaches due to bad weather in the sea, but some people ignored safety warnings and drowned."
Pakistani private news channels showed relatives of the dead and missing crying on the beach.
Karachi is Pakistan's largest city and thousands of people visit its beaches during holidays.