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Police: Attackers Damage Hindu Temple in Pakistan

A street vendor waits for customers next to a damaged main door of a Hindu temple, that was vandalized by a group of assailants, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, March 29, 2021.

Assailants in Pakistan damaged a nearly century-old Hindu temple in the garrison city of Rawalpindi before fleeing the scene, police said Monday.

The vandals damaged the door and the stairs of the temple in the attack, which took place on Saturday night. The temple was not yet reopened for the Hindu community for worship and was still undergoing renovation, according to local police official Mohammad Toseef Sajjad.

The renovation had temporarily been halted for the Hindu festival of Holi, when Hindus throw colored powder and spray water on each other to mark the advent of spring. Until the renovations started, the temple had remained abandoned. Nearby shop owners had encroached on much of the land that the temple was built on.

There were no further details. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In general, Muslims and Hindus live peacefully in the predominantly Muslim Pakistan, but there have been attacks on Hindu temples in recent years. Most of Pakistan’s minority Hindus migrated to India in 1947 when India was divided by Britain’s government.

The latest attack, months after a mob demolished a Hindu temple in the country’s northwest, drew criticism on social media.