Hindu extremists attack Christians, torch churches in India

Hindu extremists attacked Christians celebrating Christmas in eastern India, ransacking and burning at least six village churches, officials said Wednesday. One person was killed in the violence. Authorities deployed 450 police to quell the violence in the remote district of Orissa state where the churches, most nothing more than mud and thatch houses, were attacked, said Bahugrahi Mahapatra, a government official. The trouble had largely tapered off by Wednesday, Mahapatra said. There were conflicting reports of what sparked the unrest in Orissa, which has a history of violence against the state's tiny Christian minority. Mahapatra called the violence a "sensitive matter" and refused to discuss how it began.