11/08/2005, 00.00
INDONESIA
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More violence in Poso, armed men shoot two female students in the head

The shooting took place in the same central Sulawesi town where three girls were recently decapitated. Both 17-year-old students are in serious conditions.

Poso (AsiaNews) – Two men armed with pistols shot point blank at two female students in Poso, central Sulawesi, wounding them in the head at 7:45 pm local time (11:45 GMT am)

The new act of violence took place in the same town where three young Christian students were decapitated on October 29. A fourth student was seriously injured in the same attack.

The two 17-year-old victims, "Yuli" Siti Nuraini and Ivone, are in critical conditions, according to Nurhayati, a paramedic. Ivone was hit in the left jaw, whilst Yuli was wounded in the neck. "They were operated at the Poso Hospital where they were taken by police," the paramedic said.

For the moment, local and regional police have not released any statement about the event.

A few hours before Central Sulawesi police Chief Oegroseno had reported that police had not yet identified the killers of Ida Yarni Sambue (15), Theresia Morangke (15), and Alfita Poliwo (19), the three Christian girls decapitated on October 29.

The fourth girl who was wounded in the attack is recovering under tight police security since she is a material witness to the crime.

From 1998 to 2001 the Sulawesi Islands were the scene of sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians.

Many now fear that the new acts of violence might signal renewed inter-religious violence.

Local Muslim and Christian leaders have said that outsiders are responsible for the recent crimes, not local Muslims. They believe that the culprits acted on order by some group bent on reigniting sectarian hatred in the area.

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