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Violence creates island of terror in Indonesia POSO - Masked, black-clad and brandishing machetes, the attackers sprang from behind a screen of tall grass and pounced on the four Christian girls as they walked to school. Within seconds, three of the teenagers were beheaded fresh victims of violence that has turned this Indonesian island into yet another front in the terrorist wars.

"All I could do was pray to Jesus for his help," said 16-year-old Noviana Malewa, who fled with a gaping head wound. "I was streaming with blood." A thick scar runs from the back of her neck to just under her right eye. Muslim militants are blamed for the October killings, the most gruesome yet in a campaign of terror against Christians on the island of Sulawesi.

Muslim-Christian violence from 2000 to 2002 killed some 1,000 people in Sulawesi and attracted Muslim militants from across Indonesia, including from Jemaah Islamiyah, a homegrown network linked to Al Qaeda, and even from the distant Middle East.

Despite a peace deal, bombings, shootings and other attacks on Christians have continued, especially around the small town of Poso in the heart of the octopus-shaped, Massachusetts-sized island. Behind the attacks are Muslim islanders avenging their dead in that conflict, and terrorists bent on fomenting a new war, former fighters and security officials say.


Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
20 November 2005 · Gunmen shoot and wound Christian couple in Sulawesi
13 November 2005 · 5 men detained over beheading of 3 girls released
09 November 2005 · Two Poso students shot by unidentified men
08 November 2005 · Palu villagers seek refuge after clash
04 November 2005 · Bomb defused in central Sulawesi town


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 27 December 2005 07:17 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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