Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Police arrest nine for masterminding NTT riots

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara (Antara): Police in East Nusa Tenggara arrested nine people, who were accused of masterminding riots in two separated places in the province, following the executions of three Christians in Central Sulawesi last Friday.
"We have arrested nine people since the riots erupted. We will carry out further investigations to the incident," provincial police spokesman Comr. Marthen Radja was quoted by Antaranews agency as saying Tuesday.
Fabianus Tibo, 60, Marinus Riwu, 48, and Dominggus da Silva, 42, were executed on the southern outskirts of Palu, the Central Sulawesi provincial capital. The men were found guilty of leading a Christian militia that launched a series of attacks in May 2000-- including a machete and gun assault on an Islamic school that left at least 70 men dead.
It was one of the most brutal attacks during sectarian violence that swept Central Sulawesi from 1998 in 2002, killing more than 1,000 people from both faiths. A peace deal largely ended the bloodshed, though isolated attacks have continued.
The executions sparked outrages of Christian mobs in Central Sulawesi and East Nusa Tenggara.
The mobs blockaded roads in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, looted Muslim-owned shops and burned a prison, freeing hundreds of inmates. On the island of Flores, the executed men's birthplace, machete-wielding mobs ran through the streets, sending women and children running in panic.
Marthen said that six people were arrested in Atambua regency and the three others were arrested in Sikka regency.
Sikka Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Endang Syafruddin said that the police have collected a number of evidence, including photographs of the involvement of the three before they were arrested.
"They provoked the mobs to burn markets and to stone Legislative Council," he added.

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