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Indian Court Splits Holy Site Between Muslims and Hindus

Indian security personnel patrol a street ahead of a potentially explosive court verdict on whether Hindus or Muslims should control a disputed holy site in Ayodhya, India, Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP hide caption

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Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

A place holy for two religions, the site in Ayodhya, India has been a flash point between Hindus and Muslims. Today, a court ruled that it should be split in three parts, one for Muslims, and two parts for two different Hindu groups.

The site was where the Babri Mosque was built in the 16th century. Hindus believe it is where the god Rama was born. In 1992, Hindu militants, claiming the mosque was built on top of an older Hindu temple, razed the building. The incident sparked clashes between Hindus and Muslims that left thousands dead across the country.

The center of the dispute, where a small shrine to Rama now sits will remain in Hindu hands. Muslim lawyers say they will appeal the verdict.

Fearing a resurgence of violence Indian police took thousands of people into custody ahead of the verdict and made tens of thousands more sign a pledge not to cause violence.