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(BosNewsLife) – Indian Christians on Tuesday, July 5, were closely watching plans by hard-line Hindu groups to hold marches throughout the country, after six heavily armed Muslim militants were killed in the city of Ayodhya as they tried to storm a controversial Hindu shrine. The attempt as reportedly setting off a two-hour gun battle with Indian security forces that left all six attackers dead, police said. The violence began when one of them in a jeep blew himself up, with the blast tearing a hole in iron railings surrounding the shrine, allowing the others to get on the verge of the temple’s inner sanctum, police added.

In a move that was expected to add to fear among Christians, the hard-line Hindu groups Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal called for nation wide protests and marches following the “terrorist attack.” Like ordinary Muslims, Christians and church leaders as well as missionaries have been singled out for revenge attacks and other violence by Hindu militants, human rights and advocacy groups say. At least two missionaries were killed in Orissa in recent weeks.