04/27/2009, 00.00
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Protestant clergyman and wife killed with machetes

Local police find the bodies of Rev Frans Koagow and his wife, slaughtered in their home in Manado, capital of the province of North Sulawesi. Investigators exclude theft as possible motive. Two men who came to the clergyman’s home early in the morning are the main suspects.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) –  Police found Rev Frans Koagow, 64, and his wife Femy Kumendong, 73, at their home, dead, killed with machetes. The couple lived in Manado, capital of North Sulawesi province, where a majority of Sulawesi Island Christians live. Most local Christians are Protestant.

Malalayang Police Chief Anthony Wenno said the murderers had not yet been identified but that they were looking for two men who came to Reverend Koagow’s home on a motorbike around 7 am.

Police also said that nothing was stolen from the two murder victims so theft or extortion can be ruled as possible motives.

Some witnesses said that when the suspects came to Rev Frans Koagow’s home, they were told that he was not there but in a nearby kiosk.

The two men met their victim there and after eating together they accompanied him home where they killed him.

Tensions between Christians and majority Muslims on Sulawesi Island have been high and over the past few years clashes and violence have become commonplace.

In several of the island’s provinces Christians have been murdered.

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