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Two hurt in armed raid on Catholic compound

South China Morning Post - January 30, 1997

Associated Press in Jakarta – About 40 masked men ransacked a Catholic group's office in a remote Indonesian province on Borneo Island yesterday and set a truck and two motorcycles ablaze, a newspaper reported. Two bystanders were injured.

The unidentified attackers, who had their heads covered with black hoods, smashed windows and broke open doors of buildings in the compound in the early morning attack in the town of Siantan Tengah, the Suara Pembaruan reported.

The town in the West Kalimantan district is about 770 kilometres north of Jakarta. The Catholic foundation is involved in social work and runs a high school in the compound.

The injured women, who suffered knife slashes on their arms and backs, worked at a nearly shopping centre and were caught in the attack, the newspaper said.

Earlier this month, 5,000 indigenous Christians went on a rampage in the province, attacking property belonging to Muslim settlers from other parts of Indonesia.

It was not clear what motivated the latest attack, but the ongoing violence is believed to be the result of religious intolerance aggravated by the economic gap between Muslims and minority Christians.