FOUR CHURCHES BOMBED ON NEW YEAR'S EVE INDONESIA.<br>By BF News.
04 Jan 2002
Windows were shattered when bombs exploded in three churches in Palu, Central Sulawesi, at midnight on New Year's Eve. Later a bomb exploded during a morning service at another church,
wounding two policemen who were working to defuse it.
The explosions were an unsettling beginning to the New Year for Christians in Sulawesi. Some reports say the bombs were thrown at the churches by men on motorbikes. In Ambon, the capital of nearby Maluku province, a grenade was thrown into a house and exploded injuring one of the residents. Several days earlier on Thursday 27 December shots were fired at a Christian speedboat in Ambon Bay killing one of the two men on board. On the same day at least two policemen and two civilians were reportedly injured when a mob from the Muslim area of Tantui - Galala gathered to launch an assault on the Christian district of Galala-Atas. Soldiers defending the Christian area fired at the mob leading to a gunfight in which police and marines are also reported to have become embroiled.
Despite these events the Christmas and New Year period has not seen the wide-spread violence which the Islamic militant group Laskar Jihad had threatened and many Christians, particularly in
Sulawesi and Maluku, had feared. Tens of thousands of police were deployed by the Government across Indonesia over the last two weeks to protect churches and prevent a recurrence of the tragedy of Christmas Eve 2000 when some 24 bombs exploded in churches across the country killing 18 people. Police in Sulawesi are reported to have arrested two people in connection to the latest attacks on the four churches.