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17 drown during religious festival in India

NEW DELHI (AP) - Rescuers have found 17 bodies of Hindu devotees who were swept away in the Yamuna River during a religious festival in the Indian capital, an official said Friday.

The devotees drowned during a ceremony immersing clay statues of the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesha into the river at the end of a 10-day festival, fire official S.L. Sharma said.

He said the bodies were recovered Thursday, a day after thousands of devotees thronged the river banks celebrating the birth of Ganesha, who is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Millions of Hindus install Ganesha statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures across India and worship them before immersing them in lakes, rivers and the sea.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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