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17 found dead after Hindu festival

Rescuers have found 17 bodies of Hindu devotees who were swept away in the Yamuna River during a religious festival in the Indian capital.

Fire official SL Sharma said the devotees drowned during a ceremony in New Delhi immersing clay statues of the elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesha into the river at the end of a 10-day festival.

Mr Sharma said the bodies were recovered yesterday, 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 colourfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures across India and worship them before immersing them in lakes, rivers and the sea.

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