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More than 40 people killed in stampede at religious festival in Israel

More than 40 people have been killed in a stampede at a Jewish religious gathering in northern Israel, local authorities said.

Motti Bukchin, spokesman for the Zaka ambulance service, told Channel 12 TV on Friday that 44 people were killed in the incident.

The disaster occurred at Mount Meron at the main celebrations of Lag BaOmer, a holiday when tens of thousands of people, mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews, gather to honour Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 2nd century sage and mystic who is buried there.

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