Indian police killed at least nine people Friday repelling a fresh attack by militant Hindus on a mosque they want to raze to build a temple, police said.
Domestic news agencies reported 25 more deaths in communal violence in other parts of India over the campaign to replace the Ayodhya mosque with a temple to the god Ram.The conflict has spilled into Moslem Bangladesh, where two more people died Friday from anti-Hindu rioting. Pakistan's caretaker prime minister said India is not doing enough to protect Moslem shrines.
About 150 people have been killed in Hindu-Moslem violence since Tuesday, when Hindu militants led by naked holy men first attempted to destroy the 16th century mosque they say stands on the birthplace of their most worshiped Hindu god.
On Friday, police in Ayodhya, a town of 50,000 people and 3,000 temples in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, fought about 5,000 militants intent on storming the mosque, chasing them through narrow streets and over rooftops.
Schoolteacher Om Sri Bharati told Reuters police scrambled after some militants across the roof of her house, down the stairs and into the courtyard, then opened fire, killing three. She said police dragged the bodies into the street, leaving a trail of blood staining the passageway.