03/10/2006, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Bomb targets Hindu temple in Indonesia

The homemade bomb injured the watchman of the religious building in Poso. Police maintain that the perpetrator wanted to create panic and terror in the region, already a battleground between Christians and Muslims.

Poso (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A homemade bomb exploded on Friday outside a Hindu temple on an Indonesian island that has been plagued by religious violence, wounding a man who was guarding the compound, police said.

The blast in the town of Poso in central Sulawesi island was caused by a low-intensity bomb, and forced the roof and walls of the temple's guard house to collapse, said Poso deputy police chief, Major Andreas Wayan.

"Whoever did this wanted to create panic and spread terror here in Poso," he said, adding that police investigating the attack found black powder, nails, shrapnel and a battery at the scene.

Hundreds of onlookers gathered around the temple after the blast, which seriously wounded the guard.

Some 3,000 security personnel have been deployed to safeguard Poso, a city 1,600 kilometres northeast of Jakarta, since last year following a spate of attacks targeting Christians.

Though Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, a large percentage of Poso's population is Christian and a small minority is Hindu.

There were fierce battles between members of the two faiths in 2000 and 2001 that killed about 1,000 people.

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