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Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
University destroyed in Moluccas
Children scavenge in destroyed Ambon house
Hundreds of buildings have been burned down in the unrest
Muslim and Christian activists in Indonesia's Moluccan islands have accused each other of arson after a university went up in flames in the city of Ambon.

The blaze, in the Poka area of the city, destroyed most of the Pattimura campus, including the library and nearby houses.

There were also reports of gunshots in the city, with five people reported killed.

The latest unrest comes a week after the Indonesian Government declared a state of civil emergency in the islands.

Refugees from Halmahera
Thousands have fled the fighting
More than 4,000 people have died in communal fighting in the past 18 months, and thousands have been left homeless.

The local military commander, Colonel Made Yassa, said the killings occurred in fighting late on Monday between rival Christian and Muslim gangs in the university area.

Colonel Yassa said gunfire and explosions could still be heard on Tuesday on Ambon's outskirts, but that the centre of the city was calm.

Weapons missing

According to the official Antara news agency, police and the military have been trying to recover more than 800 guns and hundreds of thousands of bullets stolen from two police arsenals last month.

So far, they have managed to retrieve only 10 guns and scores of grenades and tear-gas canisters, the agency said.

Last week, a ferry carrying an estimated 500 people fleeing violence in the Moluccas sank in a storm. Ten survivors were later found clinging to debris.

Most of the refugees were believed to be from the village of Duma, where at least 114 people were killed when Muslim fighters attacked the village earlier this month.

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, have a majority Christian population.

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See also:

02 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Behind the Moluccan violence
26 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Troubled history of the Moluccas
29 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Moluccan islanders' desperate flight
20 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Massacre in the Moluccas
21 Mar 99 | SPECIAL REPORT
Ambon's troubled history
02 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Survivors found from missing ferry
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