International Christian Concern reported Saturday that three Indonesian Christian high school girls were beheaded in Poso in Central Sulawesi. The girls were Yarny Sambual, Tresa Murangke and Alfina. Two others also had their throats slit but survived the attack.
The bodies of the girls were discovered at 7:30 in the morning near Bambu village. The head of one girl was left outside of a Christian church in Kasiguncu village and another two found near a police station 10km away from the crime scene. Noviana Malewa, a surviver of the attack, was hospitalized with serious facial injuries.
The state agency Antara reported that the attackers were dressed in uniforms and ambushed on the road between the girls' school and home. The head of Sulawesi police Commissioner Oenggoeseno said the motive of the crime is not important given that the victims were helpless girls.
Over the past months, ICC has reported increasing persecutions on Christians in Indonesia. Radical Islamist has been actively working with local authorities to force closure of churches. The situation has become so grave that on October 25th the Secretary of the Indonesian Churches Together sent an appeal for prayers around the world for Indonesia.
Poso has experienced series of persecution from 1998 to 2002. Over hundreds of Christians were murdered and thousands of homes burned down. A string of assassinations of pastors and Christian leaders took place from 2003 to 2004.
Learned of the tragedy, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called an emergency meeting with his security officials. He condemned the attack and expressed his concern to prevent escalation.
"I forcefully condemn these attacks against civilization and I call on the local people to collaborate with the government to guarantee a successful outcome of the investigations and to maintain security."