JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Clashes between Christian and Muslim gangs armed with knives and homemade guns left at least eight people dead, police and witnesses said Sunday. Police Sgt. Pamrin said around 100 Christians attacked a Muslim district on th
Security forces opened fire on the attackers, said Pamrin, who goes by a single name. Six unidentified corpses were later brought to the town's main hospital, witnesses said. Shortly after, police shot and killed two members of the Muslim paramilitary group Laskar Jihad who were traveling toward the trouble spot, said another officer on condition of anonymity. Toward dawn, a bomb exploded outside a church in the town, witnesses said.
There were no reports of major damage or injuries. In July, at least 28 people were killed in sectarian fighting in villages surrounding Poso, about 1,000 miles northeast of Jakarta. In May last year, more than 400 people were killed in the region. Around 200 members of the Laskar Jihad have recently arrived on the island from neighboring Maluku province, where the group is accused of stoking a sectarian conflict that has left around 9,000 dead during the past three years.