India said Wednesday that 890 people were killed in 15 weeks of Hindu-Muslim riots provoked by a Hindu militant campaign to take over the site of a 16th century mosque.

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Junior interior minister Subodh Kant Sahay, giving parliament the official death toll in some of India's worst sectarian violence since independence from Britain in 1947, said 332 people died in the first two weeks of December alone.He said nearly 4,000 people had been injured in the surge of violence between September and mid-December and blamed the riots on a battle over a shrine in the Hindu sacred city of Ayodhya.

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