Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

grassroots reconciliation movement offered on Thursday more facts that could shed light on the true identity of the snipers blamed
for fueling fresh violence in Ambon, Maluku, which has so far killed 38 people. Non-governmental organization, the Peace Building
Institute, said the snipers, who are continuing to sow fear among Ambon residents, were using Styer SSG-69 rifles, which are widely
used by sniper units of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police sharpshooters. He refrained, however, from actually
pointing the fingers at the TNI or police, saying that further investigation would be needed to reveal the true identity of the snipers.
TNI spokesman Maj. Gen. Syafrie Syamsuddin said earlier that the mystery snipers were using weapons stolen from a police armory
during an infamous raid in Ambon in 2000. He also said that the snipers were skilled marksmen, as shown by the fact that victims
were shot in the forehead, heart or between the eyes. Both Ichsan and Abubakar agreed that what sparked the renewed violence in
Ambon was not the rally by the separatist Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM) to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the
proclamation of the South Maluku Republic (RMS) but rather the killing of three persons by the snipers. Ambon, the site of bloody
religious strife that killed over 5,000 people between 1999 and 2001, was plunged into violence again on April 25. At least 38 people
have been killed since then. Maluku police said on Thursday that gunmen firing from a speedboat shot dead a Christian adult and a
baby, and wounded three others in a dawn attack off Buru Island.