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Indian nun shot as threats to Indian Christians grow

A nun from Madya Pradesh has been shot in the face at point blank range by four men believed to be militant Hindus.

Sr Leena Vellampuniyel, 30, who worked at Nirmala Hospital in the village of Chandera, is now in hospital in a critical condition after last Tuesday's shooting.

The incident happened just a day after a priest was attacked in Thane near Bombay.

Fr Mendonca was attacked by more than 40 activists believed to be from the Sangh Parivar militant group and suffered serious injuries.

The Sangh Parivar is the main militant Hindu group in India and activists from this group are suspected of being involved in the murders of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons in Orissa in January 1999.

The militant activists are believed to be behind an increasing number of incidents against Christians in India, including threats to orphanages, church groups and travelling evangelists.

The All India Christian Council (AICC) has urged Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to recognise these attacks as being not just isolated incidents, but part of a deliberate targeting of Christians.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide/Worldwide Photos