Christians Massacred in Moluccas

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AMBON, Indonesia, APRIL 28, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Armed attackers raided a mainly Christian village on the outskirts of Ambon, killing at least 12 people and raising fresh doubts about the chances for peace in the Moluccas, news services reported.



Armed with rifles, grenades and daggers, about a dozen men shouting "kill them all" today stormed the village of Soya, about 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) east of Jakarta, witnesses told the Associated Press.

They set 30 homes and a Protestant church on fire, and went from house to house, shooting into those that were occupied. Six Christians, including an infant, were stabbed to death and six others were killed in fires. Two more were believed to have been shot to death. Indonesia´s official Antara news agency also said six people were wounded.

The murders came two days after the militant Islamic group Laskar Jihad rejected the February peace deal, which aimed to halt the three years of fighting between Muslims and Christians that has left thousands dead.

"It may be the end of the peace deal," said Christian pastor Cornelius Bohm in Ambon. "There is no doubt that it was Laskar Jihad" behind today´s attack, he said. A police source in Ambon, however, refused to speculate on the religion of the killers.