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Stampede at end of festival kills hundreds

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A stampede at the end of a three-day festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, killed at least 339 people, officials said.

Cambodia's information minister said more than 4 million people were attending the traditional Water Festival when the stampede occurred on the bridge near Cambodia's royal palace, CNN reported.

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Reports indicated huge crowds had gathered on a small island for concerts.

The three-day festival, which began Saturday, is held in November to honor Cambodian naval forces and includes boat races, a government Web site said. The festival is also used to pray for a good rice harvest, rain and to celebrate the full moon, the site says.

It was unclear what started the incident, CNN reported.

Hundreds of shoes, clothing and personal items littered the streets, the bridge and the water near where the festival took place, witnesses said.

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