44 people killed in stampede in Israel

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In Israel, 44 people were killed in a stampede that occurred at a religious gathering at Mount Meron today. The tragedy struck when a large number of Jewish pilgrims had gathered at the site of the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century Talmudic sage.

Police sources told local media that it started after some attendees slipped on steps, which caused dozens more to fall. Authorities say at least 44 people have been killed and about 150 injured. Police have launched their own investigation. Reportedly, three times more participants, including children, had gathered than authorised by police, leading to the worst civilian disaster in Israel’s modern history.