Indonesia police fire tear gas on Muslims protesting church

Source: Associated Press

By ACHMAD IBRAHIM and ALI KOTARUMALOS

BEKASI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police fired tear gas on Friday to disperse hard-line Muslims protesting against the construction of a Catholic church in a satellite city of the capital, Jakarta.

Several hundred protesters from a group called Forum for Bekasi Muslim Friendship staged a rowdy demonstration in front of the Santa Clara church in Kaliabang, a neighborhood of Bekasi city, after Friday prayers.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas as the protesters tried to force their way into the church, which has been under construction since November. Some also threw rocks and bottles into the site.

Raymundus Sianipar, a Catholic priest, said police asked him to leave the area for safety reasons.

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