Indian prime minister issues peace appeal to Hindus, Muslims

Friday, March 15, 2002

AYODHYA, India -- India's prime minister appealed for peace Thursday following Hindu-Muslim violence that has killed more than 700 people, and police arrested hundreds of Hindu activists ahead of a disputed prayer ceremony.

More than 14,000 police and troops patrolled streets and canals in the northern city of Ayodhya, where Hindu nationalists vowed to pray Friday near the site of a razed 16th-century mosque despite a Supreme Court ban on the ceremony.

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