08/01/2014, 00.00
INDONESIA
Send to a friend

Moluccas, fresh fears of Muslim-Christian clashes: 4 dead, dozens of homes ablaze

by Mathias Hariyadi
In Ambon, security forces intervene in riot gear. The fear is that this is a flashback of the violence that, until 2002, divided Islamists and Protestant Christians, causing thousands of innocent deaths.

Ambon (AsiaNews) - The sectarian violence that rocked Ambon, the capital of the Indonesian province of Maluku, yesterday has left 4 people dead and at least 20 homes burned to the ground, which fortunately had been evacuated before the fire. It is still unclear what caused the outbreak of tension that pitted the two groups of local residents against each other, but the government was forced to send 300 soldiers in riot gear in an effort to minimize the damage.

The two groups clashed in the village of Seith, on the coastline of the sub-district of Leihitu: they attacked each other with stones and sharp weapons, then set the homes of their rivals on fire. The day before, similar violence exploded in the village of Way Galih, but without causing casualties.

Authorities fear that the violence could be a throwback to the long period of tensions between the Islamists and the Protestant Christian community, which left thousands dead on both sides and churches and mosques destroyed. In 2002 political authorities succeeded in quelling the violence and in persuading the parties to sign a peace agreement that until now seemed to have held up well.

 

 

Send to a friend
Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Bomb rocks market in Ambon, 1 dead and 12 wounded
25/05/2004
More sniper victims, police say they do not know who the snipers are
06/05/2004
John Paul II writes to tortured Christians in Ambon
03/05/2004
Maluku, Christian neighborhood attacked
16/05/2012
Maluccas, clashes between Islamic groups: at least five dead and 300 houses burnt
13/02/2012