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Moluccas priest says Christians want Muslim group expelled

Christians will demand strong and decisive actions to expel the paramilitary group Laskar Jihad from the Moluccas, according to Fr Cornelis Bohm, of the Crisis Centre of Ambon diocese.

But members of the group say they are determined not to leave, despite the signing of a pact to end three years of sectarian bloodshed.

The Laskar Jihad, which is based on Java island, says its activities in the Moluccan islands centre on humanitarian work rather than war.

Christian and Muslim leaders from the Moluccas have signed an agreement to end the violence, which has claimed some 5000 lives. It stipulates that outside forces should withdraw.

The peace deal calls for an independent inquiry into the activities of Laskar Jihad as well as into two Christian separatist groups, and it says outside parties sowing unrest, are obliged to leave.

Laskar Jihad Online

Radio Australia