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Stampede claims dozens of lives in India

About two dozen Hindu pilgrims were feared dead following a stampede at a religious gathering on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Varanasi.

Reports say the stampede was caused as people tried to cross a crowded bridge over the Ganges river, when police started turning back people from the overcrowded Rajgahard bridge.

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“That triggered a rumour among the devotees that the bridge had collapsed, and they started running for safety.

“We were not prepared for such a large crowd,” Raj Bahadur, a spokesman for the organisers, told newsmen.

Millions of Hindus go to Varanasi every year to pray and wash away their sins by taking a dip in the river.

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