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10 killed in stampede at goat sacrifice festival

An argument over sacrificing goats during a Hindu festival triggered a stampede that killed 10 people yesterday in a packed temple in northern India.

More than 40,000 people, many inebriated, had taken their goats to the Tildiha village temple in Bihar state to offer sacrifice and prayers to the goddess Durga on the last day of the 10-day Navratri festival.

As the worshippers lined up before the butcher, a scuffle broke out and some people were trampled, a Banka district spokesman Gupdeshwar Kumar said.

"People were vying with each other to get their goats sacrificed first, and they had a verbal duel with the butcher," he said.

Villager Umesh Kumar (35), said the temple was so full, "people didn't have any place to walk around. . . and there was a commotion when people tried to have their goats sacrificed".

The district spokesman said some 30,000 goats were sacrificed at the temple on Saturday.

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