Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The city is
back in the limelight for acts of violence and terror probably related to
Muslim extremism, this after years of relative calm following a peace accord
signed in 2001 by radical Muslim groups and Protestant Christian movements.
In the past few days, the port city
in central Sulawesi has been the scene of attacks against Christian-owned buildings.
Two missing policemen, who were investigating one recent attack, were found yesterday,
stabbed to death, their bodies hurriedly buried.
The two officers, Andi Safa and Sudirman,
were from Poso Pesisir Precinct. They went missing about a week ago and their
bodies showed signs of stab wounds to the neck.
Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brigadier
General Dewa Parsana confirmed that the two men were on a special mission
investigating a recent bombing against the home of Okri Mamuaya, a local
Christian government official.
The attack, which occurred on 9
October, caused material damage, but no one was hurt or killed. Investigators believe
Muslim extremists were involved, trying to reignite sectarian tensions in the
Early indications suggest that the
two agents were on the way back to their station when they went missing. Their bodies
were only found yesterday.
The murder occurred near the village
of Masani, near Tamanjeka Forest, Poso Pesisir District, a popular training for
paramilitary fighters associated with a radical Muslim group.
For investigators, Jamaah
Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) is behind the two men's death. Founded by Muslim
leader Abu Bakar Baasyir, the radical group is now led by one Yasin.
The 9 October attack against a local
Christian official was followed by an explosion at a building near the Imanuel
Taripa Protestant Church in East Pamona, Poso.
Now law enforcement agencies fear
that tensions might escalate and lead to open conflict between Muslims and Christians.
Between 1999 and 2001, the Maluku
Islands saw a bloody confrontation between Christians and Muslims. Thousands of
people were killed and hundreds of churches and mosques were destroyed. Thousands
of houses suffered the same fate. About half a million people were made
Prompted by the central government, the
two sides signed a truce in Malino, South Sulawesi, on 20 December 2001. The local
population is evenly divided between Christians and Muslims.
Still, episodes of terror have
continued on and off with innocent people paying the price. In October 2005, three
Christian girls on their way to school were decapitated by Muslim extremists,
causing a sensation and outrage around the world.