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Four churches bombed in Indonesia

Explosions rocked four churches in the volatile central Sulawesi province, while a separate blast hit Jakarta on New Year's Day killing one person.

The explosions shattered what had been relative calm during recent religious festivals.

Deputy national police spokesman Edward Aritonang told Reuters a grenade was either thrown at or exploded in the hands of a man standing outside a restaurant in Jakarta a couple of hours before dawn, killing him.

Police in the central Sulawesi capital of Palu in eastern Indonesia said four blasts outside churches in the city -- three hit simultaneously as the New Year began -- wounded at least one policeman. The province has seen savage clashes between Muslims and Christians in the past three years.

Much of the religious and communal violence occurring in the world's most populous Muslim nation stems from political and economic grievances that were forcibly suppressed during the three-decade iron rule of President Suharto.

The Palu incidents occurred less than two weeks after a peace deal was struck by Christians and Muslims in an area around Poso, a town 90 kilometres from Palu. More than 1000 people have been killed in three years of clashes around Poso.