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4 Salvation Army members murdered in Indonesia by suspected militants

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A 2016 file image of a Salvation Army building in Singapore. Authorities in Indonesia say an Islamic State-linked group are responsible for an attack on the island of Sulawesi which left four Salvation Army members dead. (Photo by Tristan Tan/shutterstock.com)

Police in Indonesia are hunting suspected militants accused of killing four Christians, beheading one and burning down their homes.
Ten militants linked to a terrorist group beheaded one victim and slit the throats of the others on the island of Sulawesi on Nov. 27, national police spokesman Awi Setiyono quoted a witness as saying.
The Salvation Army on Nov. 28 confirmed that the four victims were their members.

According to witness reports, the perpetrators had asked for food from the victims who were killed when they refused, Awi told Reuters.

The investigation, led by the Indonesian police and the military, may run into hurdles as the incident took place in a hilly, remote village near the region of Sigi in Central Sulawesi province, Awi said.

According to a report by AFP the authorities have blamed Sulawesi-based East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) for the attack. MIT has pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

In a statement the Salvation Army said the attack occurred at the Lewono Lembantongoa Outpost.

“The Salvation Army’s building was burned down along with six homes of members,” the statement added.

It further said that Salvation Army officials are coordinating with police and government officials of the Sigi Regency and Central Sulawesi province who are increasing protection for the villages in the area and investigating the incident.

“We find the news from Lembantongoa greatly disturbing,” said General Brian Peddle, international leader of The Salvation Army. “Our hearts go out to our people who have been victims of evil, and to the families of those whose faith have caused such harm,” he said.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has grappled with intermittent militant attacks recently.

“This attack is another serious escalation against the Christian minority in Indonesia,” Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono told Reuters.

Gomar Gultom, the head of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, has urged the authorities to resolve the case.

The Salvation Army says it has more than 60,000 members in Indonesia.

With Reuters

 

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