|Police beating apparently sparks
|Extent of damage still unknown|
By K.T.Arasu JAKARTA, Dec 26 (Reuter) An Indonesian mob, apparently incensed by a report that police had beaten a religious teacher, went on the rampage on Thursday, setting fire to churches, commercial buildings and vehicles, police and residents said. They said the West Java town of Tasikmalaya, about 200 km (125 miles) southeast of Jakarta, appeared to be under siege with smoke billowing from burning buildings. Residents contacted by telephone said police and troops had sealed off the town of about 500,000 people, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. They said a crowd of several thousand people, many of them youths, ran amok apparetly after police had beaten a religious school teacher and his two students. "Yes, the rioting is connected to that case," a Tasikmalaya police official told Reuters. "The rioters are still going around town and we are monitoring the situation." [snip] The police official in Tasikmalaya said more than 200 policemen had been deployed and reinforcements had been sought from the hilltown of Bandung, about 120 km (75 miles) to the northwest. He said police were trying to determine the extent of the damage in Tasik- malaya, a key road and rail transit town from Jakarta to central Java, which produces mainly handicraft products. [snip] Political and religious analysts say Christion churches become targets for mob violence primarily for economic and social reasons, with Christians usually the more affluent members of the community. [Snip] PS: Several parts were deleted for they're similar to the news before.
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