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War fears resurface in Ambon


Religious war in Ambon looks set to flare again, with Muslim leaders threatening to send 7000 jihad warriors to the strife-torn Indonesian island after two days of conflict that left at least 14 people dead and up to 100 wounded.

Houses and parts of a Christian university were burnt earlier this week as gunfire was heard across smouldering Ambon city. Police insisted all was calm, but confirmed 200 paramilitary police were on the way to restore order. "The plans are to bring two companies of police from Jakarta," police commissioner Hendro Prasetyo said. "Some arrived this morning by Hercules."

Fr Cornelius Bohm, from the Diocesan Crisis Centre in Ambon city, said the Christian district of Batugantung had been under attack since Sunday night. Residents of Batugantung and nearby Mangga Dua had fled, leaving houses and buildings open to arsonists. There were no police or armed forces and the Christians had no weapons for defence, he said.

Muslims were also said to have fled their neighbourhoods, prompting threats of reprisals from leaders of four radical Muslim organisations in Jakarta.

SOURCE
War fears resurface in Ambon (The Australian 27/4/04)

LINKS
Sectarian Violence Spreads in Indonesia (The Guardian/Associated Press 27/4/04)
Deadly Violence Erupts in the Moluccas (Zenit 25/4/04)
Seven thousand Mujaheddin ready and armed for battle in Moluccas Islands (AsiaNews.it 26/4/04)
New clashes between Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas (AsiaNews.it 26/4/04)
Hundreds of police rush to Maluku (The Age 26/4/04)
14 dead as secterian violence rages (Herald-Sun 26/4/04)


28 Apr 2004