If the war in Iraq has taught us anything about the politics of chaos it is that rarely, if ever, does more violence quell violence. But tell that to Indian police who were issued shoot-on-sight orders after clashes between Hindus and Christians rocked the Orissa state in eastern India.

Agence France-Presse

Indian police were ordered to shoot on sight to end Hindu-Christian clashes on Wednesday as Pope Benedict XVI “firmly condemned” violence that has killed at least nine people.

Parts of eastern Orissa state have been rocked by Hindu-Christian clashes since Saturday, when a popular hardline Hindu religious leader and four of his disciples were shot dead by unknown assailants.

“We issued shoot-on-sight orders in the wake of large-scale violence” despite a curfew imposed Monday, said local administrator Satyabrata Sahu.

Mobs armed with sticks went on the rampage, torching government buildings and vehicles and staging other attacks, he said.

“This is unprecedented violence, much more widespread than we’ve ever seen” in the state, Father Babu Joseph, spokesman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, told AFP.

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