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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Two arrests over Ayodhya attack
Policemen at the site of the attack
One of the gunmen blew himself up in the attack
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested two suspected militants who they allege helped the attackers of a disputed religious site in Ayodhya.

The militants were arrested from the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

One gunman blew himself up and four others were killed after a two-hour battle with police in an attack on the Ayodhya holy complex last week.

In 1992, Hindu zealots tore down a mosque there, claiming it to be built over the birthplace of a Hindu god.

No group has claimed the attack.

It appears that the conspiracy to attack the temple was hatched by militants in Indian administered Kashmir
Police official SP Vaid

But a senior police officer says they believe there is a link between the attacks and armed militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir.

"It appears that the conspiracy to attack the temple was hatched by militants in Indian administered Kashmir," the officer, SP Vaid, told the BBC.

The police say they also recovered a car from the suspects which they believe was used to hide arms and ammunition.

'Kashmiri militants involved'

In a related development, police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, said the attack was carried out by the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group.

"The militants crossed over into India from Pakistan in August 2004 and began their plans to attack the shrine," Director General of Uttar Pradesh police, Yash Pal Singh, said.

The attack was followed by widespread protests by Hindu nationalist groups across India.

They blamed Islamic groups supported by Pakistan for the attack.

Pakistan has denied any role in the raid and India said the incident should not affect talks with its neighbour.

But at the same time, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned that such incidents, if repeated, could affect the peace process with Pakistan.

The two nuclear neighbours have been involved in peace talks since the beginning of 2004.

See the protests that followed the Ayodhya attack


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