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Stampede kills 24 at religious gathering in India

VARANASI: A stampede at a religious gathering in northern India killed at least 24 people Saturday as thousands of devotees of a controversial guru tried to cross a bridge at once, police said. The followers of Jai Gurudev, a leader of a local religious sect, had gathered on the outskirts of Varanasi, a Hindu holy town in Uttar Pradesh state, when the deadly stampede broke out. "We can confirm that 24 people have died in the incident. Nineteen of the dead are women," Hari Ram Sharma, police inspector general, told…