Muslims Kill Christians in Ambon Indonesia
(HRWF -- http://www.hrwf.net ) At least 32 Christians were killed in a day long attack by Muslims on an outlying village in Ambon, the capital of Indonesia's Maluku islands, a church worker said yesterday.
The Muslim attackers were helped by government soldiers during the attack on the village of Hatiwe Besar on Tuesday, said Mr Noya Fileopistos, of the Christian co-ordinating post at the Maranatha church in Ambon. All the victims, many of whom died violently, were Christians. "They have been able to evacuate 32 bodies," he said by telephone. "Most of them, including a 10- month-old infant, were shot and their bodies tossed into fires" of houses torched by the attackers, he said. But no new violence had been reported yesterday, he said.
The attackers had used mortars and automatic rifles and had come from other parts of the city. Some of the residents from Hatiwe Besar had managed to flee the ruined village by sea and were sheltering at the Nehemia Protestant church in the Benteng Gudang Arang area of Ambon city. "There are about 500 refugees staying at the church. All of them fled by speedboat and small passenger boats because they could not use the land route," Mr Fileopistos said.
Earlier reports of the fighting yesterday had put the number of dead at nine.
The Maluku islands have been torn apart by almost two years of Muslim-Christian conflict, which has left some 4,000 people dead and a trail of destruction.
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