India on high alert again
India is on high alert today after several gunmen stormed North India's Ayodhya temple complex, a flashpoint of Hindu-Muslim tensions and the site of a riotous mosque destruction by a Hindu mob 13 years ago. Though the gunmen were prevented from entering the complex by security personnel, the Times of India reports that all six attackers were killed and a few security guards and bystanders were injured. The Times has posted grisly photos of the slain terrorists on its website: View with caution. In 1992, the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya led to mass riots throughout India, in which at least 2,000 people -- mostly Muslims -- were killed.
As expected, the right-wing Hindu party blamed the attack on Islamic militant groups supported by Pakistan, while Pakistan condemned the attack and Muslim groups said it was orchestrated by Hindu groups hoping to drum up support for their parties. Regardless of the motive, India's leaders need to act swiftly to provide immediate security to India's Muslim communities, and to quell any violence that might arise out of the incident. Let's hope the thwarted attack doesn't lead to more riots, and that recent promising talks between India and Pakistan continue without being threatened.