14 Apr 2006 11:48:30 GMT
AHMEDABAD, India, April 14 (Reuters) – Rival Muslim groups clashed in a town in western India on Friday injuring eight people, including a police officer, and set fire to a local Islamic school, police said.
The trouble began when some Shia Muslims objected to the presence of people from the Sunni community outside a mosque in Kalol town in the western state of Gujarat.
Several houses and a madrasa were set ablaze before police fired teargas to disperse the rioters, a government official said.
"The situation is under control, but we are maintaining a strict vigil in the areas," the district administrator D.H. Brahmbhatt said, adding several people had been arrested.
Gujarat has a history of violence, mainly involving Hindus and minority Muslims.
Rights groups say that more than 2,500 people, mainly Muslims, were hacked and burned to death in the state in 2002 after 59 Hindu pilgrims and activists were burnt to death in a train.