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Lightning and rain kill 24 in western India

At least 24 people have been killed in lightning strikes and rain in India during intense storms, officials said, the BBC reports.

The rain damaged houses and killed livestock across western Gujarat state. Rain and hailstorms were expected to continue in western India on Monday.

At least 18 of the 24 deaths were attributed to the lightning strikes, officials said in a statement late on Sunday.

Gujarat state was hit by heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and hailstorms on Sunday and Monday, with some areas receiving up to 144mm of rain in 24 hours, Reuters news agency reported citing state government data.

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah said he was “deeply saddened” by the deaths, adding that local authorities were engaging in relief work.

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