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» 10/17/2012
INDONESIA
Poso: missing policemen found dead, fears of new Christian-Muslim violence
by Mathias Hariyadi
The agents were investigating a recent attack against a Christian government official. The bodies, which had stab wounds, were found in a hole near a Muslim extremist training site. A home-made explosive device exploded near a Protestant church.

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 area.

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 homeless.

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.

 


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See also
11/08/2006 INDONESIA
Men who beheaded three Christian schoolgirls were preparing a hundred more decapitations in Sulawesi
by Benteng Reges
02/06/2007 INDONESIA
Sulawesi: Islamic schools used as arms arsenals for terrorists
by Benteg Reges
02/02/2007 INDONESIA
Two most wanted terrorists arrested in Poso
by Benteng Reges
11/04/2006 INDONESIA
Three men to be tried for Poso beheadings
11/03/2005 INDONESIA
Indonesians against the instigators of violence

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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