India on Saturday viewed with serious concern the attack on the two newly appointed Indian priests at the Pashupathinath temple in Kathmandu on Friday and said the "unprovoked and criminal act of violence" caused deep anguish.

"We strongly believe that this unprovoked and criminal act of violence goes against the grain of the civilisational ties of friendship that have existed since time immemorial between the peoples of Nepal and India," the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

India continued to closely monitor the situation surrounding the unfortunate incident. Its Ambassador in Nepal had taken up the issue at the political level and police authorities were contacted.

The spokesperson said the Nepalese authorities at the highest level had assured additional steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian priests.

Senior police officers visited the site and deployed a new security contingent. A team from the Indian Embassy visited the temple to reassure the priests.

"We understand that the Nepalese authorities have apprehended over 25 persons in connection with this incident, including the ringleader,'' the statement said.

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