05/27/2005, 00.00
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Weapons caches found in Maluku Islamic school

School principal was one of the agitators who in the past fomented sectarian tensions between local Christians and Muslims.

Ambon City (AsiaNews) – Arrests in the aftermath of terrorist attack against a police post in the Maluku village of Loki are shedding more light on the murky world of local terrorists and agitators.

The Crisis Centre of the diocese of Amboina reports that following the interrogation of Idi Amin Tabirani Pattimura, alias Ongen Pattimura, the police found caches of weapons, including thousands of rounds of ammunition, hundreds of bombs and many rifles, in the Muslim STAIN Academy in Kebun Cengkeh, on the outskirts of Ambon City.

Although Ongen did not participate in the May 16 attack in Loki, he is considered as one of its planners.

The attack against a local police post left five policemen, a civilian and one of the attackers dead.

The terrorist commando included eight people who shot at the police from a motorboat.

One of them, Sainuddin Nasir, was found hiding at the STAIN Academy

Among the other arrested, some were trained by Moro Muslim separatists in the Philippines and then sent to the Maluku Islands to carry out attacks.

Mohammad Attimini, the school principal, was not in town. He was one of the agitators who, between 1999 and 2001, fomented clashes between Christians and Muslims that left a long trail of blood in the islands.

The 2002 Malino agreement ended the sectarian violence that killed 5,000 people. However, the recent attacks have led the police to believe that a terrorist plan might be in the making with the purpose of causing communal tensions and again destabilise the area.

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