Sunday, October 01, 2006

Muslims stab Christian man in Poso

POSO, Central Sulawesi (AP): Muslims dragged a Christian man from a bus and then stabbed him Sunday, a witness and nurse said, amid rising religious tensions in Central Sulawesi province following the executions of three Roman Catholic militants.
The victim was stabbed in the back and hospitalized, said Yeni, a nurse at Poso hospital.
The attackers fled soon after police arrived at the scene in downtown Poso, said a witness named Arman.
Poso was a main battleground in a 1998-2002 conflict between Muslims and Christians in central Sulawesi that left a total of about 1,000 people from both faiths dead.
Communal tensions have risen since the executions last week of three Roman Catholic men convicted of leading a militia that carried out a series of attacks in 2000, including an assault on an Islamic school that left at least 70 dead.
Human rights groups allege their trial was unfair and questioned whether their religion played a role in the sentences.
Few Muslims were punished for the four years of unrest, and none to more than 15 years in prison.
Overnight Sunday in the city of Poso, unidentified people detonated two small bombs that caused no injuries or damage. Soon after, a Muslim mob set fire to a partially constructed church in the Muslim-dominated town, said police Adj. Comr. Wayan.
Indonesia is a secular nation with the world's largest number of Muslims, about 190 million. In Sulawesi and several parts of the country's east, Christian and Muslim populations are roughly equal.

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