Thursday, August 28, 2008

Church burns as Indian religious riots spread

BHUBANESWAR, India-Hindu mobs ransacked a church and clashed with Christian villagers in eastern India on Thursday, police said, as authorities struggled to control spiraling religious violence in the region.Hindu mobs have destroyed more than a dozen churches and attacked Christians in eastern Orissa state this week after the murder of a Hindu leader in Kandhamal district, a tribal area where Christian missionaries have been active for years.Shoot-on-sight orders and curfews to control violence have so far failed to end clashes that have killed at least 11 people.Police deployed more than 3,000 personnel in the streets on Thursday but they could not stop the ransacking of at least one church. Local media said as many as four churches were attacked."Police are marching in several areas now," Orissa police chief Gopal Chandra Nanda told Reuters.Television pictures showed mobs armed with rods putting up road blocks on Thursday and others attacking churches.Other mobs armed with bows and arrows and axes have attacked Christian homes, dragging out women and children. Hundreds have fled to forests and nearby hills, officials said."Moments after we passed by a Christian village, people set it on fire and everything was over within minutes," a senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said from Kandhamal, the worst-hit district.
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As in the days of Noah...

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