JAKARTA - Police reinforcements are being rushed to an area where 12 people have been killed in communal fighting on the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia. The fighting between Christians and Muslims in Ambon City is the most significant threat to a peace accord that has held for more than two years and was reached after earlier fighting killed 5,000 people in the Maluku province.
Confrontations began after a banned Christian separatist group held a parade in Ambon City. In the hours that followed, eight people were shot dead and others hacked by knives and machetes, while the United Nations headquarters and several other buildings were torched. Fearing another protracted conflict, locals are hoarding supplies and hundreds of police reinforcements are heading for the area.
The unrest in Ambon comes as continued religious-based violence in Sulawesi has eroded a similar peace accord there.