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  India riots leave 500 dead
Updated 04 March 2002, 18.11

Soldiers and police are on patrol after more rioting in India.


More than 500 people have been killed in the worst religious violence in years.

Although fighting has been mostly brought under control in the western state of Gujarat, there is still some fighting between Muslims and Hindus in the countryside.

Worst violence in years

In the towns and cities of Gujarat people are slowly trying to get back to everyday life.

Fact File
Religious facts
Hindus are 81% of Indian population
Muslims are 12%
1992: Hindu groups destroy mosque in Ayodhya
2,000 killed in riots that followed
Feb 2002: Hindus travelling back from Ayodhya attacked by Muslims
Reaction to this leaves about 500 dead
But the army is patrolling the streets and in the last week people have been killed as Muslims and Hindus have clashed in the worst religious violence India has seen in 10 years.

Some say as many as a thousand people could be dead.

The police and army are trying to bring peace and order to the streets but there have been reports of violence in more remote areas.

The government has been criticised for not sending in troops sooner to control the situation and the worry has always been that the violence could spread to other areas of the country.

History of conflict

Map showing main areas of violence
There is a long history of conflict violence between the Muslim and Hindu communities in India.

This latest round of violence started last Wednesday after Muslims set fire to a train carrying Hindu protesters. Nearly 60 people were killed, mostly women and children.

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Indian army fail to stop more rioting
More killed in Indian violence
Children die in violent clashes in India

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