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Police killings of alleged militants risk more violence

Central Sulawesi conflict

spacer 17 Febrary 2007 - Police and army in Central Sulawesi are put on high alert after warnings that Islamic militants are planning attacks in the area. This was told by the regional police chief late Friday. Earlier that day the Australian government had announced it had credible information that militants were already in an advanced stage of planning attacks in Central Sulawesi.

· 17-02-2007: Sulawesi on terror-alert after attack warnings
· 03-02-2007: Poso residents fear alleged arrival of millitants
· 26-01-2007: Indonesia continues hunting militants in Poso
· 25-01-2007: Police killings of alleged militants risk more violence
· 23-01-2007: Schools closed in Poso after clashes

22 January 2007 - Police raided a suspected Islamic militant stronghold in central Indonesia on Monday, touching off a gunbattle that killed an officer and two civilians, police said. The clash took place in Poso town on Sulawesi Island, the scene of bloody fighting between Muslim and Christian gangs six years ago and sporadic bombings and shootings by Islamic extremists since then.
· 22-01-2007: 10 killed in gunbattle in Poso
· 22-01-2007: Gunbattle with suspected Sulawesi militants kills 3

21 January 2007 - ensions remained high in Indonesia’s volatile region of Poso Saturday, January 20, after a key Islamic militant admitted to taking part in the killing of three Christian high school girls there in 2005. He reportedly also confessed to shooting the Rev. Susianty Tinulele to death in Palu in 2004.
· 21-01-2007: Militant admits to beheading Christian girls
· 15-11-2006: Suspected Muslim militant apologizes for beheadings of Christian girls
· 11-11-2006: Beheaded girls were Ramadan 'trophies'
· 04-11-2006: Indonesia charges three over beheading of schoolgirls
· 24-10-2006: Church set ablaze amid religious tensions
· 21-10-2006: Indonesia says violence in Sulawesi is terrorism

18 October 2006 - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked security chief ministry to take immediate steps to prevent the security in Central Sulawesi province from deteriorating. The president demanded the contribution of all concerned parties in the province on the maintaining of peace.
· 18-10-2006: President asks to take immediate steps in Poso
· 16-10-2006: Christian pastor shot dead in Sulawesi
· 09-10-2006: Police arrest 14 Christians over killings of Muslims

30 September 2006 - A home-made bomb went off near a church in Indonesia's restive own of Poso, Central Sulawesi province, just after midnight Saturday, causing no injury. "It was a low explosive caused by a home-made bomb," Central Sulawesi Police spokesman M. Kilat was quoted by the country's leading news website Detikcom as saying.
· 01-10-2006: Muslim mob stabs Christian as tensions rise in Sulawesi
· 30-09-2006: Bomb explodes in Poso

20 September 2006 - Three death row prisoners convicted of leading a Christian militia in bloody violence against Muslims in Indonesia will be executed tomorrow, police said, announcing beefed-up security to head off any unrest. International rights groups, including Amnesty International, have argued that the trials were unfair and called for further investigations, while Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for clemency, but police said it would go ahead.
· 23-09-2006: Calm returns after executions
· 23-09-2006: Crowds riot over execution of three Christians
· 21-09-2006: Security crackdown ahead of execution of christian militants
· 20-09-2006: Indonesia to execute three for racial rage

31 August 2006 - Indonesia will execute three Christians, on death row for triggering sectarian violence among a mob in 2000, despite renewed pleas for clemency earlier this week, National Police chief General Sutanto said here on Wednesday. General Sutanto said the men's fresh bid for pardon would not be valid due to it being against the country's law, which does not allow two requests to be submitted within two years of each other.
· 10-09-2006: Bomb blast kills one in Sulawesi
· 31-08-2006: Indonesia to execute Christians despite clemency request
· 28-08-2006: Christians on death row seek clemency

12 May 2006 - Three militants suspected of beheading three Christian schoolgirls have been arrested in the Indonesian restive town of Poso and the video of their confession was shown here on Friday at the police headquarters. In the five-minute video, the suspects appeared separately to confess their crime or express remorse with the absence of their lawyers.
· 12-05-2006: 3 militants arrested for beheading Christian schoolgirls

2 April 2006 - The execution of three Christians convicted of masterminding the 2001 sectarian conflict in Poso, Central Sulawesi, has been postponed for "technical reasons", the Attorney General's Office said Saturday. The Attorney General's Office had earlier announced that the three would be executed at the end of March after their plea for presidential clemency was rejected
· 03-04-2006: No reprieve for Poso 3, officials say
· 02-04-2006: Execution of Poso convicts postponed

13 Febryary 2006 - Police have detained a Muslim preacher in the restive town of Poso as part of a nationwide hunt for one of Southeast Asia's most wanted Islamic militants, police said on Monday. Police in the province of Central Sulawesi said authorities detained the preacher because of his suspected links to Malaysian Noordin M.Top, who is accused of playing a key role in a spate of bombings in Indonesia
· 13-01-2006: Indonesia Muslim preacher detained under terror law

10 January 2006 - There has been an explosion near a church in the religiously divided Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi. Police say the blast in Poso caused no casualties or damage. Shortly afterwards, a fire damaged four government buildings in the city of Poso, however, police are unsure if the blaze was related to the explosion.
· 10-01-2006: Military chief denies clash with police in Central Sulawesi
· 10-01-2006: Police, military units clash on restive Sulawesi
· 10-01-2006 - FORUM: Police, military units clash on restive Sulawesi
· 10-01-2006: Blast hits Central Sulawesi province

31 December 2005 - A bomb packed with nails exploded in a crowded Christian market selling pork ahead of New Year celebrations in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, killing seven people and wounding 47, police said. The blast in Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province, came after warnings of militant violence during the Christmas and New Year season in Indonesia.
· 04-01-2006: Indonesia sets up team to tackle Sulawesi violence
· 03-01-2006: Sulawesi police find traces of Palu bomb blast
· 01-01-2006: Police detain man after market bombing
· 31-12-2005: Bomb blast kills seven in Palu

A policeman guard in front of the site of bomb blast at a pork-selling market in the town of Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province. A blast that was probably a bomb rocked a crowded market in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on Saturday, police said, and a news radio station reported that the explosion killed five people and injured another 43.
A policeman guard in front of the site of bomb blast at a pork-selling market in the town of Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province. A blast that was probably a bomb rocked a crowded market in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on Saturday, police said, and a news radio station reported that the explosion killed five people and injured another 43.

9 November 2005 - Two senior high school students in Poso were shot by unidentified men at around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, more than a week after the conflict-prone town was shocked by the beheadings of three Christian schoolgirls. The condition of the two 17-year-old students, Ivon and Nuraini, who have been admitted to Poso Kota General Hospital, has been described as critical.
· 20-11-2005: Gunmen shoot and wound Christian couple in Sulawesi
· 13-11-2005: 5 men detained over beheading of 3 girls released

Two students shot
· 09-11-2005: Two Poso students shot by unidentified men
· 09-11-2005 - FORUM: Two Poso students shot by unidentified men

Three schoolgirls beheaded
29 October 2005 - Three Christian teenage girls were beheaded Saturday in the latest attack against non-Muslims in the troubled Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi, police said. The three high school students were found with their heads severed early Saturday in the sectarian-divided town of Poso, said provincial police spokesman Rais Adam. The girls were believed to have been murdered while they were walking to school, Adam said.
· 04-11-2005: Police identify men in schoolgirl beheadings
· 30-10-2005: Govt boosts security after girls beheaded
· 29-10-2005: Three Christian schoolgirls beheaded in C. Sulawesi

Tentena market bombing
28 May 2005 - Two bombs exploded Saturday at a busy market in central Indonesia, killing at least 20 people and wounding 40 in a volatile region marred for years by religious fighting, a police official said. The bombs happened in the morning in the Christian-dominated town of Tentena, near Poso, the coastal town where fighting between Muslims and Christians has claimed hundreds of lives since 2000.
· 02-06-2005: More suspects held over Tentena bombings
· 28-05-2005: Volunteers say Tentena explosions kill 27
· 28-05-2005: Bomb blasts at Indonesia market kills 20

Background of the conflict
Ever since Indonesia achieved independence in 1949, the Jakarta government has faced a constant battle to keep the nation's 13,000 islands together. Click on the map below for some of the main areas of conflict.

Central Sulawesi has been the scene of particularly brutal skirmishes between Christians and Muslims in recent years. The town of Poso has acquired an unenviable reputation for some of the region's worst inter-religious violence. Hostilities first surfaced in late 1998, and carried on well into 2000. After a period of relative calm, they broke out again in late 2001.

Some analysts claim the violence began when fighting between Christian and Muslim communities in the Moluccan islands spilled over into Sulawesi. Others say it was a consequence of the influx of Muslim migrants from Java under President Suharto's transmigration programme - which reduced the Christian majority in Poso, and thus their powerful position.

A drunken brawl between Christian and Muslim youths sparked the violence in Poso in December 1998 - leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless. Unfounded claims that churches had been burned added to the chaotic atmosphere, and there were rumours of black magic being invoked, further inflaming this very traditional region.

By the time the violence subsided many months later, about 1,000 people had been killed and tens of thousands expelled from Poso and the surrounding villages. In late November 2001, the fighting flared up once again. There were reports that the militant Islamic group Laskar Jihad was leading the Muslim side, and a study by the International Crisis Group suggested that another regional militant group, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was also involved.

A paramilitary organisation calling itself the Red Force emerged to retaliate on behalf of the Christian community. Both groups were armed with bows and arrows, as well as homemade bombs and firearms. In an attempt to bring about a long-term solution, the two sides met in December 2001 in government-sponsored peace talks.

The resultant declaration of peace, the Malino Accord, was signed by both sides, and produced a dramatic decline in the violence. But systematic one-sided attacks - bombings and unexplained killings of mostly non-Muslim victims - have continued. In October 2003, masked gunmen killed 13 Christian villagers in the Morowali and Poso districts - proving that the inter-religious violence in Sulawesi is far from over.

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