Indonesia Government Tries to Defuse Muslim-Christian Clashes

Toll in Indonesia sectarian clash rises to seven

Hundreds of police have brought calm to Indonesia’s eastern Maluku province following Sunday’s violent Muslim-Christian clashes that left three dead and more than 80 injured.  The incident, apparently sparked by a simple traffic accident, called attention to a region still recovering from years of sectarian conflict.

Toll in Indonesia sectarian clash rises to seven

More than 400 police have helped quell riots that broke out Sunday on the eastern island of Maluku, following the death of a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver.

Police say the man died in a traffic accident, but rumors sent via mobile phone message claimed he was tortured and killed by a group of Christians.

The rumors set off physical clashes in the provincial capital Ambon, where gangs of Muslims and Christians threw rocks and swung machetes.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, often criticized for being slow to react to recent incidents of sectarian conflict, immediately ordered hundreds of security troops to the area.

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Categories: Indonesia

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