Victims Stabbed to Death, One Beheaded
05/12/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 11, four Christian farmers from the village of Kalimago, Poso regency, were murdered by five sword-wielding attackers.
Around 7:30 on the morning, the terrorists ambushed a group of farmers who were harvesting their coffee plantation in a remote village on the island of Sulawesi. The victims, identified only with their initials, S.S., M.S., L.L., and P.P., were between the ages of 42 and 61.
A fellow farmer said he saw a group of suspects carrying firearms and sharp weapons approach the victims before he fled and informed the police. Senior Commissioner Didik Supranoto, a spokesman for Central Sulawesi police force, told Benar News that the witness identified one of the attackers as a fugitive named Qatar, who is a member of the IS-linked Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) terrorist group.
Photos reviewed by ICC reveals the brutality of the attack. A victim’s body was seen lying on the floor with a sword stabbed through his heart. His head appeared to be charred. A decapitated body was found nearby. One of the victims’ motorcycles had also been torched.
Among the four victims, two were members of the Toraja Mamasa Church (GTM), one attended Toraja Church (GT), and one was Catholic.
According to the police, the attack was motivated by robbery and attempt to terrorize local residents. “Everything the victims had was taken away by the perpetrators including rice, money and other belongings they kept in their huts,” Didik said.
He added that members of Operation Madago Raya, the latest iteration of a joint task force whose mission is to hunt down the remnants of MIT, were pursuing the killers.
Last November, the same Sulawesi-based terrorist group burned down a Salvation Army’s church post and Christian homes, after they hacked four Christians to death and beheaded one in Sigi Regency, Central Sulawesi. The authorities have not been able to capture the fugitives despite months of efforts.
Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said, “Our hearts mourn the brutal death of these Christian-majority Toraja farmers. While MIT’s motive is yet to be confirmed, the fact that the atrocities were committed two days before Idul Fitri (the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramadan) and only months apart from when they killed four Christians in Lembantongoa in a similar fashion is senseless and heinous. We urge the Indonesian government to root out the MIT before they claim more innocent lives.”
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