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Dozens injured in Israeli religious festival stampede: NPR

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JERUSALEM – More than 100 people were injured, dozens seriously, in a stampede at a Jewish religious gathering in northern Israel that was attended by tens of thousands of people, Israel’s main rescue service said early Friday morning.

Magen David Adom tweeted that he was treating 103 people, including 38 in critical condition. Israeli media had previously reported that a tribune collapsed, but the rescue service said all the injuries occurred in a stampede.

The incident occurred late at night and there were conflicting reports of a grandstand falling.

Tens of thousands of people had gathered at the foot of Mount Meron to celebrate Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday honoring Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century sage and mystic who is buried there.

It was the first major religious gathering of its kind to be held legally since Israel lifted almost all restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The country has seen cases drop since it launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns late last year.

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