January 22, 1999 |
Rioters fired flaming arrows at mosques and churches and armed gangs blocked roads as clashes between Christian and Muslim militants spread in eastern Indonesia. At least 24 people have died this week and almost 3,000 have fled their homes in Maluku province, once known as the Spice Islands. At least 10 religious buildings were set afire and thousands of police and troops have been flown in to restore order.
June 21, 2000 |
Muslim fighters attacked a Christian village in eastern Indonesia, leaving at least 116 people dead in what Christians said was a massacre. Police said 108 Christians and eight Muslims died in the fighting Monday in the village of Duma, on Halmahera island about 1,600 miles northeast of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Church workers said that as many as 160 people, including 152 Christians and eight Muslims, were killed.
June 28, 2000 |
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid promised that security forces will round up thousands of people who he says are responsible for the sectarian violence in the Molucca Islands that has killed scores of people in the past week. While gunfire and bomb blasts echoed across Ambon, the provincial capital, Wahid told visiting U.S. newspaper editors in Jakarta, the capital, that those detained would include "hooligans acting on behalf of Islam. . . . We will detain thousands."
February 22, 2000 |
The war ravaging the Maluku islands is one without heroes, only victims. It is a war in which neither side, Christian or Muslim, has political demands. Ideology is not an issue. Even the young men who fight are hard pressed to explain how or why it started, much less what they hope to accomplish besides revenge and survival. But what they do know is that this island chain long noted for its religious tolerance has changed, perhaps forever. For Indonesia, the implications are serious.
May 31, 2000 |
At least 44 people were killed in an armed raid on a mostly Christian village in the eastern Indonesian province of North Molucca, an army chief said Tuesday. North Molucca military chief Lt. Col. Sukarwo said suspected Muslim militants attacked the village on Halmahera island before dawn Monday. The attack also injured at least 102 people, he said.
December 27, 2000 |
Dewi Abriyani, a willowy 16-year-old with deep brown eyes, is a vision in flowing white when she sets off each morning for high school. Her floor-length robe is pristine and starched. So is a large head cover that fits snugly around her face and falls almost to her waist. "I wear Islamic dress not only because of religious obligation," explained the young Indonesian, referring to a 7th century dictate from the Koran. "It also makes me feel more comfortable, more beautiful.