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Armed group raids nightspots in Javanese town SOLO - About 500 Muslims armed with swords and clubs attacked two nightspots in the central Javanese city of Solo, police and witnesses said yesterday. The attackers, who were dressed in white robes, were demanding that the establishments close duri ng the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

They threw fire crackers and smashed furniture, bottles and glasses in the raids, which occurred early yesterday morning. Nobody was injured. Later, a mob torched a vehicle belonging to another Muslim group in the city. Local authorities in Indonesia have ordered all nightspots to close during Ramadan to respect Muslim sensitivities, but the order has been ignored to a large extent.

Police said nobody was injured in the violence, and they had yet to make any arrests. Witnesses said the attackers belonged to the paramilitary Muslim Laskar Jihad, or Holy War Troop. Earlier this year, the group sent thousands of its members to the Maluku islands. At least 4,000 people have been killed since clashes between Muslims and Christians there began last year.

There have been a series of attacks against nightclubs in Indonesia by Muslims in the past year. They have been demanding that the clubs shut down. These have intensified during the fasting month, which ends later this month. Less than two weeks ago, a group of Muslim radicals ran amok at a karaoke bar and pub in South Sulawesi province after being angered by the opening of the outlet during Ramadan. The Indonesian Observer said that about 100 extremists raided the nightspot, located on the ground floor of the Country Inn Hotel in Makassar. The mob attacked patrons and tore decorations and posters off the walls. They also destroyed many bottles of alcoholic drinks, injuring one person in the process.

According to the newspaper, the radicals launched their 'operation' immediately after hearing an unconfirmed report that the pub and karaoke bar would be open until dawn. About 90 per cent of Indonesia's 210 million people are Muslim, making it the world's most populous Islamic nation.



Posted in General @ 18 December 2000 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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