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Sulawesi churches told to beef up security after attack
Publication Date : 12-02-2013
The Indonesian Makassar Police in South Sulawesi have called on churches and other places of worship to beef up security, including by installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, as part of measures to anticipate acts of terror.
“The number of police personnel is limited. It’s not possible for us to place personnel at each church or at other houses of worship, which are countless. So, we are urging people to take independent security measures, including installing CCTV,” explained Makassar Police chief Sr. Comr. Joseph Wisnu Sanjaya yesterday.
On Sunday morning, Tiatira Church and Toraja Mamasa Church (GTM) in Makassar were attacked with Molotov cocktails only a few hours before regular Sunday services commenced.
The attack caused no damage to Tiatira Church, but GTM suffered damage to its gate and name board after unidentified people threw two Molotov cocktails at the building. No casualties were reported.
Wisnu said the police were still investigating the cases based on statements from eyewitnesses and evidence found.
“We have four witnesses who were at the crime scene,” said Wisnu.
However, he added that police had yet to find a clue as to the perpetrators or groups involved.
Wisnu said that the main stumbling block in resolving the case was the limited number of onlookers witnessing incidents at the crime scene.
On Monday, Wisnu organised a meeting with some priests and community figures from Tana Toraja in Balla Tamalanrea, Makassar.
The meeting was aimed at ensuring the Christian community, especially the Toraja church congregation, that the police would restore security in Makassar.
He also gave assurances that the people could continue to perform their religious activities solemnly and peacefully.