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Sectarian riots spread in India

Sectarian violence has spread into new areas of northern India despite an army-enforced curfew put in place after deadly weekend clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims.

Police say at least 28 people have been killed, with many more missing since gunfire and street battles erupted on Saturday in villages around Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh state.

State police inspector Ashish Gupta says rumours spread by mobile phones and social media are making it difficult to quell the violence.

Shops and schools have been closed in Muzaffarnagar, about 78 miles north of New Delhi. Soldiers are searching homes for weapons.

A state of alert has been declared for Uttar Pradesh, where the 1992 razing of a 16th century mosque by a Hindu mob in Ayodhya sparked India's worst communal clashes.

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