Monday, October 02, 2006

Security tightens after violence flares

Paramilitary police are being deployed here after a series of attacks and bombings during the weekend amid rising religious tensions following the executions of three Christian militants.
About 20 men wearing black masks blocked a road in Poso town, witnesses told The Associated Press.
(These 20 men were Muslims dressed as ninjas.)
They stopped a bus and forced five passengers to get out, intimidating them and stabbing one before police arrived.
The victim was hospitalized with wounds to his back, said Yeni, a nurse. She described his condition as "serious".
Communal tensions have risen on Sulawesi since the executions last week of three Catholic men convicted of leading a militia that carried out attacks in 2000, including an assault on an Islamic school that left at least 70 dead.
Early Sunday morning two bombs exploded near a church and local government offices in Poso's Kawua subdistrict. No one was hurt. Muslims also burned a church after setting off bombs near the church and government office. When police later arrived, a group of angry Christian villagers attacked them, accusing them of failing to secure the area. Cornered, police retreated to the Muslim-majority Sayo subdistrict.

A few hours before midnight Saturday, a police vehicle was attacked when a group of men threw a small bomb at a bomb-squad van, AFP reported.
It was the fourth to rock the town in a day, police said.

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