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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 09:55 GMT
Police lead on Sulawesi attackers
By Rachel Harvey
BBC News, Jakarta

Indonesian police say they have intelligence about the people who beheaded three schoolgirls on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

But they say they cannot yet make the information public.

Investigators have questioned a number of witnesses following the brutal attack which took place near the town of Poso on Saturday.

Around 1,000 armed police officers are patrolling the area amid fears of a resurgence of sectarian violence.

This left more than 1,000 people dead five years ago.

Police investigators say they have questioned a number of people in the past few days, but their key witness is the one victim who survived the attack.
Muslim gang members carry makeshift rifles as Christian homes burn in sectarian violence-wracked Poso, December 2001

She said that six assailants dressed in black, wearing masks and wielding machetes, attacked the girls as they were walking to a nearby Christian school.

But apart from saying that they believe the culprits were not locals, the police are declining to make public who they think might be behind the killings.

Local Muslim and Christian community leaders say there is an atmosphere of fear and anger, but both sides are urging calm.

Irianto Kongkoli, a Christian preacher, spoke to the BBC after attending the funeral of one of the victims.

His voice rising with emotion, Mr Kongkoli criticised the performance of the security forces operating in the area.

"This is a terrorist nest now," he said, "and the law enforcement agencies have let that happen."


SEE ALSO:
Alert after Indonesia beheadings
30 Oct 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Three Indonesian girls beheaded
29 Oct 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Gunmen attack Indonesian church
19 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Gunmen attack Indonesian church
11 Apr 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Four die in Indonesia cafe blast
10 Jan 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Sulawesi alert over fresh violence
17 Nov 03 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia flashpoints: Sulawesi
28 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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