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Police kill 3 amid religious rampages

From Times Wire Reports

Police in eastern India killed at least three people when they opened fire on a group of hard-line Hindus who set fire to a police station during clashes between Hindus and Christians, officials said.

The killings in a remote corner of Orissa state brought the death toll to four since violence broke out on Christmas Eve when long-standing tensions between the Hindu majority and the small Christian community erupted over conversions to Christianity.

The Hindus had attacked the police station in the Kandhamal district’s Brahmangaon village, complaining of a lack of protection after a group of Christians burned down several Hindu homes in apparent retaliation for Hindu attacks on churches.

About 19 churches, most of them small mud-and-thatch buildings, have been destroyed since Monday, along with several homes destroyed, including that of Radhakant Nayak, a member of India’s upper house of parliament and a Christian leader in the area.

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