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Israel stampede: Everything we know so far as dozens killed in crush at religious festival

Telegraph, 30 Apr 2021
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At least 44 people have been killed and a hundred injured after a stampede broke out at a religious bonfire festival in Israel attended by tens of thousands of people on Friday.

The stampede, one of the deadliest civilian disasters in Israeli history, occurred during the annual celebrations of Lag B'Omer at Mount Meron.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said he was praying for the victims following the "great tragedy".

It was not immediately clear what caused the stampede, but some eyewitnesses said a group of attendees slipped on steps, which in turn caused more people to fall.

The crowds, mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews, were gathering to honour Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second century sage and mystic who is buried at the Galilee tomb.

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