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Ex-Pakistan woman hockey player killed in Italy refugee shipwreck

Former Pakistan women’s hockey player Shahida Raza was among at least 67 people killed on the weekend in a refugee shipwreck off the coast of Italy, officials in her home province have said.

The vessel, which authorities believe was carrying up to 200 migrants, sank in rough seas before dawn on Sunday near Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort in southern Italy. Sixteen children were among the dead.

Those on board were mostly from Afghanistan but also from Pakistan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Iran and Somalia, Italian authorities said.

“Pakistani authorities have informed Raza’s family that the Pakistani national team hockey player perished in the boating accident off the coast of Italy,” Qadir Ali Nayel, a legislator from Balochistan province, told the Reuters news agency late on Wednesday.

Raza was 27 and from the southwestern province. She also played football in domestic competitions.

The chief minister of Balochistan expressed grief over Raza’s death saying in a statement she had brought honour to the province and the country. 

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