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Facebook protests posted as offensive to Muslims leave three dead in India



Three people have been killed and dozens injured, including police, after violent protests erupted outside a police station in Bengaluru, India.

Anger was ignited by a provocateur – who is linked to a local politician – accused of posting derogatory content about the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook, police said on Wednesday.

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Rioters burned public and police vehicles, threw stones and attacked the home of the politician whose family was at the center of the allegations. The post has since been deleted and the person suspected of being responsible for it has been arrested, police said.

A woman and a child walk beyond the destruction of burned vehicles and furniture during violent protests in Bengaluru, India, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. (AP Photo)

A woman and a child walk beyond the destruction of burned vehicles and furniture during violent protests in Bengaluru, India, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. (AP Photo)

“Three people died in the police action and more than 110 people were arrested for attacking the police station,” said senior police official Kamal Pant. At least 60 police officers were injured in Tuesday night violence in Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore.

Pant said police fired live ammunition in self-defense to disperse the crowd after initially using tear gas and batons.

Authorities imposed a ban on large gatherings thereafter and tightened security throughout the city.

“Things are peaceful now,” Pant said.

A police officer throws a driver for violating restraining orders a day after violent protests in Bengaluru, India, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. (AP Photo)

A police officer throws a driver for violating restraining orders a day after violent protests in Bengaluru, India, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. (AP Photo)

Muslims and Hindus across India have a long history of tension and pockets of violence have returned in recent years, instilled by policies under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which has held power since 2014.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders urged angry groups to stop the uprising on Tuesday and stay calm.

The violence in South India comes months after municipal riots in the national capital, New Delhi, in which more than 55 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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