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Twenty perish in Saudi bus crash

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RIYADH, March 28, (AP): At least 20 people were killed when a packed bus hit a bridge, overturned and burst into flames in southwestern Saudi Arabia on Monday, Saudi state media reported. Al-Ekhbariya TV said 29 other people were injured in the crash and aired footage showing the charred remains of the bus. It said the crash occurred when the vehicle’s brakes failed in southwestern Asir province bordering Yemen.

The crash occurred during the first week of Ramadan, when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk. Many people travel to enjoy nightly feasts with family and friends during the Muslim holy month. Fasting is required of all healthy adult Muslims, with exemptions for those who are sick, pregnant women and those breastfeeding. Islam follows a lunar calendar, so Ramadan starts about a week and a half earlier each year. At the end of holy month, Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, when children often receive new clothes and gifts.

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