Troops quell sectarian violence in Indonesia
sheshank | December 10, 2008 at 05:47 amby
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Hundreds of troops were deployed to a tense Indonesian province in the Maluku islands after sectarian violence left two churches and 50 other buildings in flames, police said on Wednesday. At least six people were injured.
The region was the scene of fierce clashes between Muslims and Christians in 1999-2001 that left 9,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Authorities fearful of a repeat were quick to restore order this week.
Local police chief Brig Gen Muji Waluyo said the violence erupted yesterday in Masohi, a town on Seram island in Central Maluku province, after a Christian elementary school teacher made a comment about religion that offended a Muslim student.
He complained to his parents, and within hours mobs were throwing stones at each other and torching churches, houses and other buildings, Waluyo said, adding that more than 400 police and soldiers were sent to the scene.
The streets were quiet today, with many fearful residents staying indoors.
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