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50 Reported Injured During Riots Over Indian Temple

November 18, 1989

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ Moslem fundamentalists angry over plans for a Hindu temple at a disputed site in India attacked Hindu shops in southwestern Bangladesh, and at least 50 people were injured, a newspaper reported today.

More than 340 people have died in India during riots over plans of Hindu fundamentalists to build a temple by demolishing a 16th century mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya.

The Bengali-language newspaper, the Sangbad, said about 500 Moslems hurled stones at Hindu-owned shops on Friday in Khulna, 85 miles southwest of Dhaka. It said at least 50 people were injured.

The protestors from a fundamentalist group called Council of Priests also attacked the offices of the secular Awami League Party after a rally in the town park, the independent daily said.

Police fired in the air and used tear gas and clubs to disperse the rioters, it said. It did not say whether people sustained injuries in the police action.

The newspaper said police arrested 13 people. Officials in Khulna refused to comment.

Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan protested to India after a Hindu group laid the foundation stone Nov. 9 for the temple of god Ram at Ayodhya. The group has agreed to postpone the construction until next year.

On Nov. 11, Moslem mobs angry over the planned temple damaged three Hindu temples and burned at least 25 Hindu shops in Narsinghdi in eastern Bangladesh.

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