10/27/2004, 00.00
INDONESIA

Bombs found in graveyards and churches in Sulawesi and Maluku

Poso (AsiaNews) – Central Sulawesi could see renewed clashes between Christians and Muslims after 123 home-made bombs were found in a cache in a Muslim cemetery in Moengko village (Poso). The devices contained sharpened metal and nails.

The discovery was made after local residents made their traditional visit to the cemetery on the occasion of Ramadan with the intention of cleaning it up.

The bombs probably belong to an unidentified group that was planning attacks throughout the area, Poso police chief Abdi Dharma said.

The police added that the weapons were not recently made and might belong to a stock of weapons used during the 2001 incidents that torn Poso.

The Sulawesi Islands saw violent clashes between Muslims and Christians break out in 2000 and 2001, leaving more than 1,000 people dead.

On December 20, 2001, rival community leaders signed a peace accord. Although violence has subsided some killings that have occurred in the past two years have remained unsolved.

The Maluku (Moluccas) Islands area also a hotspot for Christian-Muslim violence. Last October 22, 15 home-made, low-explosive bombs were found in a Protestant church in Ambon City.

Maluku Police Chief Brigadier General Aditya Warman said that the find shows that someone might be planning to light the fire in Ambon again.

"I have the same impression," Warman said, "that the same group also put a bomb in predominantly Catholic Tual". (MH)

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