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Schools closed in Poso after clashes POSO - Some schools were closed in Indonesia's troubled Poso region on Tuesday a day after 12 people were killed in a clash between police and suspected Islamic militants, but there was no more violence, officials said. One policeman was among those killed in the clashes after a raid on a militant hideout.

"Schools nearby are temporarily closed although there are no more exchanges of fire," Central Sulawesi provincial spokesman Jethan Towakit said. Police arrested 25 suspected militants and seized ammunition and bombs from the militants' base on Monday in Tanah Runtuh neighborhood in Poso town, where the gunbattle occurred. A number of militants fled the scene on Monday and police are searching Poso for them.

"The governor has told the fugitives to surrender themselves but I don't know how many of them will do it," he said by telephone from the provincial capital Palu, about 1,650 km northeast of Jakarta. Some of the armed civilians in Poso were trained in Afghanistan and Mindanao in the Philippines, a police general in Central Sulawesi said.

Poso has been tense since the execution of three Christian militants in September over their role in Muslim-Christian violence in the region from 1998 to 2001. Police say some of the hunted militants are suspects in the 2005 beheadings of three Christian girls in Poso. "The total death toll is 12 people. Eleven from the armed civilian group, two of them were on the wanted list while the other one came from the police side," said Poso police spokesman Muhammad Tahir.

Three years of sectarian violence in Central Sulawesi killed more than 2,000 people before a peace accord took effect in late 2001. There has been sporadic violence since. In October, an armed group clashed with police and set fire to a Christian church in Poso, while a Christian priest was shot in Palu, sparking fears of a return to sectarian violence. Indonesian police shot dead what they called a senior member of the regional militant group Jemaah Islamiah earlier this month, while on the same day a mob killed a policeman at a funeral for another militant.


Link to related event Related event:
Central Sulawesi conflict

Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
22 January 2007 · 10 killed in gunbattle in Poso
22 January 2007 · Gunbattle with suspected Sulawesi militants kills 3


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 23 January 2007 08:54 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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