Attacks Near Jakarta Raise Fears of Religious Violence

( [email protected] ) Oct 13, 2003 04:09 AM EDT

JAKARTA – The murder of eight Christians and the burning of a church on three neighboring villages have raised fears of a resurgence of religious violence, Oct. 10-11.

The attacks, which came after months of relative peace, were all made in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province where some 2,000 people have died in clashes since 1999. The area was wracked by violence in 2001 and 2002 and became a training ground for many Muslim militants.

"There were six people killed and nine injured in three villages...all of them Christians," Rudy Tranggono, deputy Poso police chief said on Sunday.

An official at Poso District Hospital, Sugianto Kaimudin, said he had received at least 14 injured people from the attacks on Saturday. According to Kaimudin, three of the dead were brought to his hospital. One had been shot and two were hacked to death with machetes.

85 percent of Indonesia’s 210 people are Muslim.