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Tight security in Indonesia for Christmas

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has instructed Police Chief Gen. Dai Bachtiar and Senior Minister for Security, Laws, and Political Affairs Adm (ret) Widodo AS to tighten security in churches across the country ahead of Christmas and New Year.

AsiaNews reports that SBY told them when they are called to the State Palace reporting latest news over a number of fresh incidents. SBY is very concerned over the Sunday's bombing of two Protestant Churches in the provincial capital of Palu in Central Sulawesi.

"Intelligence and teritorial operation would be combined to curb another possible violence," says Cabinet Minister Lieut Gen Sudi Silalahi to journalists after attending the meeting with SBY, Gen Bachtiar and Adm (ret) Widodo AS.

Central Sulawesi Police Chief Aryato Sutadi yesterday dismissed Palu's Chief Nyoman Siswandi for his failure to provide security in the region. Some police said that Siswandi had neglected the urgency of deployment more security personnel ahead of Christmas as had been requested by the local authority.

Prof Sulaiman Mamar, assistant Rector at the University in Palu, told the press that the incidents are not a religious conflict between former parties Protestant Christians and the Muslims.

Four years ago, bombs exploded at 11 churches across Indonesia on Christmas Eve, killing 19 people and injuring around 100. The attacks have since been blamed on the al-Qaida-linked terror group Jemaah Islamiyah. Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, Central Sulawesi's population is evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.

[Indonesia:] Tight security ahead of Christmas season ( 13/12/04)

Churches and faithful attacked in Central Sulawesi ( 13/12/04)

Petrol bomb hurled at Indonesian church (CathNews 11/6/04)

Christmas Midnight Mass for a fee at the Beijing Cathedral ( 13/12/04)
Churches and faithful attacked in Central Sulawesi ( 13/12/04)
[Indonesia:] Tight security ahead of Christmas season ( 13/12/04)
Indonesia tightens security for Christmas (Catholic World News 13/12/04)

14 Dec 2004