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  • » 10/31/2005, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Poso: Police search for teenagers' killers



    Those guilty of the terrible beheadings of three young Christian girls have not been tracked down as yet. Meanwhile, Poso residents are preparing for celebrations to mark Eid al-Fitr.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Police are searching for clues to lead them to the identity of killers who beheaded three young Christian girls aged 15,16 and 19 years. The crime, described by the pope as "barbaric", has served to heighten tension in the area, for years plagued by violence. The areas of greatest friction are the predominantly Muslim city of Poso and the Christian city of Tentena.

    Police said they interrogated many people over the three homicides but they have not managed to track the killers as yet. The attack was likely conducted by not more than six people dressed in black and armed with machetes. Soenarko Artanto, vice spokesperson of the national police told El Shinta radio that a fourth adolescent who survived the attack was questioned but she was unable to supply further details.

    Meanwhile, more than 1000 police officers have arrived to guarantee security, although the police presence on the island was already formidable. And residents of Poso go ahead with preparations for the greatest feast on the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr, celebrated on 3 November to mark the end of Ramadan. Iskandar Adam, a police official said: "Markets are open as usual and they are quite packed because Eid al Fitr is near and Poso is quite safe, everything is normal".

    Between 1998 and 2001, when a cease-fire was signed, clashes between Christians and Muslims in Poso region claimed 2,000 lives. Sporadic attacks continued even after 2001, like a bomb blast in Tentena market last May which killed 22 people.

    In Indonesia around 85% of the population is Muslim, however in some parts of the east, Christians and Muslims balance out. Most Indonesian Muslims would be moderate, however in recent years there has been an increase in military activity of small fundamentalist groups.

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    See also

    29/10/2005 INDONESIA
    Indonesia: 3 Christian girls beheaded

    Bandits beheaded the girls as they walked to school. One of the heads was left outside a church.  President Susilo has condemned the attack and the head of the police talked of "helpless victims".



    30/10/2005 VATICAN – INDONESIA
    Pope close to the families of beheaded Indonesian girls

    Benedict XVI asks the bishop of the Manando's diocese to express his condolences to families and the diocesan community. He assures his "fervent prayers for peace among the people of that region".  



    21/11/2006 INDONESIA
    Christians beheaded in Poso: parents pardon killers

    The families of the victims met the three terrorists accused of the murders and accepted their apologies. The Indonesian authorities described it as a historic moment, saying they hoped it would serve to bring peace to Poso.



    17/11/2005 INDONESIA
    Courage to shed light on Poso events lacking, says anti-terror chief

    The head of the anti-terrorism office of the Sulawesi police has hit out at the security forces for failing to shed light on the proceeding of investigations into regional violence, especially the beheading of three Christian students. Three out of the five original suspects linked to the triple homicide have been rearrested.



    06/02/2007 INDONESIA
    Sulawesi: Islamic schools used as arms arsenals for terrorists
    The police discovered an arsenal of homemade bombs in a madrassah of Poso. The bombs were similar to those found on the scene of attacks in Bali and Jakarta. The authorities believe violence in the area is “orchestrated from Java and Mindanao”.



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