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Leopard on the prowl panics bustling Indian city

A man dodged a leopard that ran through a hospital and market in Meerut, India, on Sunday, injuring six people.

Associated Press

A man dodged a leopard that ran through a hospital and market in Meerut, India, on Sunday, injuring six people.

MEERUT, India — Forestry officials and police armed with tranquilizer darts searched for a leopard that injured six people and drove residents indoors in a bustling northern Indian city, police said Tuesday.

The leopard wandered through an army hospital and a crowded market in Meerut on Sunday, setting off a stampede in which two more people were hurt, said police superintendent Abhiskek Singh.

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Authorities ordered schools and colleges closed on Monday and asked people to stay indoors as police teams scoured the city. Shopkeepers lowered their shutters and city streets emptied. Soldiers also joined the hunt.

‘‘We cordoned off the area and waited. It emerged some hours later and jumped, injuring a police inspector,’’ Singh said. The animal leaped over the roofs of single-storied homes and disappeared.

Since then groups of wildlife officials carrying tranquilizer guns and volunteers armed with sticks have searched around the hospital.

At one point, forestry officials closed in on the leopard in a warehouse, but it leaped through a concrete grill, breaking it and escaping.

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