Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Muslim group that attacked police also burned church

JAKARTA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - An armed group set fire to a Christian church in Indonesia's Poso region on Tuesday, a day after it clashed with a patrol party in the troubled region, a police officer said. Poso in Central Sulawesi has been tense since the executions last month of three Christian militants over their role in the Muslim-Christian violence that gripped the region from 1998-2001. "A church was burned at around 0015," Poso police chief Rudy Sufariady told Reuters, adding that there were no casualties from the incident. On Monday, a police patrol fought with a group armed with automatic weapons, home-made pipe bombs and stones. One person died in the clash and three were wounded, including a police officer. When asked if the perpetrators of the attack on the church were from the group that clashed with police on Monday, Sufriady said: "That's for certain, it's the same group". Central Sulawesi police spokesman Muhammad Kila said police had not made any arrests and were still investigating the incident, which was close to the site of Monday's clash. "The roof of the back section of the church was damaged. The motives remain unknown until now. "Muslims in Indonesia are holding Eid al-Fitr festivities this week to mark the end of the fasting season of Ramadan.

National Police Chief Sutanto claimed on TV that the violence now was not a community conflict between local Muslims and Christians, but actual acts of terrorism. He stopped short of saying that this is a 'Muslim" group causing the terrorist acts but all evidence points to that. We'll see what tonight brings. It is doubtful that Brimob (elite security Police) will be planning any raids tonight with it being Idul Fitri today in Indonesia. Tomorrow may be a different story. If a holdback on arresting this group of terrorists is evident, you can be rest assured that the terrorists are involved with and supported by the military or government and Brimob was told to back off and leave them alone.

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