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Indonesian mob burns churches, attack police

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 13:29

Jakarta: Hundreds of Islamic hard-liners stormed a courthouse and set two churches on fire in central Indonesia to protest what they considered a lenient sentence for a Christian man convicted of blaspheming Islam.

The 58-year-old Antonius Richmond Bawengan was found guilty of distributing books and leaflets that "spread hatred about Islam" and sentenced to five years for blasphemy.

Islamic hard-liners shouted during the rioting that the man should have received the death penalty.

Anti-riot police fired into the air to disperse the crowd.
Col. Djahartono, a police spokesman, said the violence broke out Tuesday in front of the District Court in Temanggung and then spread to surrounding neighborhoods.
The mob set two churches on fire and threw rocks at a third. They also torched a police truck.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 13:29
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