Relaymedia

Indonesian Police Increased Security after Christian Girls were Murdered

The Indonesian police increased its patrols in Poso, Sulawesi after unknown attackers beheaded three Christian high school girls this weekend.
( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2005 04:00 PM EST

The Indonesian police increased its patrols in Poso, Sulawesi after unknown attackers beheaded three Christian high school girls this weekend.

News reports of the event was across Indonesia on Sunday's front page of every paper. Media Indonesia, leading newspaper of the nation, labeled the event "barbaric" across its headlines. The Muslim-oriented Republika daily also devoted its front page to the incident.

Indonesian President Susilio Bambang Yudhoyono called the killing "sadist and inhuman crimes." More than 1000 police officers were dispatched to the area of the incident to guarantee security. The identities of the killers are still not known.

"We are still investigating. So far no witness has been questioned and no suspect arrested," said police official Made Rai.

The bodies of three Christian girls were found Saturday in Poso. The girls were beheaded and the heads were scattered across the region. Two other girls were attacked but have survived with critical wounds and are now under medical care.

Muslim-Christian clashes has been an ongoing crisis in Indonesia. From 1998-2001, Poso was one of the hotspots of the conflict with more than 2,000 people killed until a peace deal was signed.

Over 85% of Indonesian population are Muslim. The Christian population, which composes about 16% of the nation, has been the targets of increasing active militants in recent years. Many Christians are from minority populous, including a great number of Chinese residents, the nation's largest minority group.