DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     February 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 24

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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FIVE KILLED IN SHELLING OF GUINEA-BISSAU CHURCH WHILE DEATH TOLLS NEARS 100 IN INDONESIA RELIGIOUS RIOTS

          ROME (CWNews.com) - Five people died and 15 more were injured on Tuesday when artillery shells hit the Catholic church they were sheltering in as rebel forces advanced on the capital of Guinea-Bissau, according to the Rome-based missionary news agency MISNA.

          "The situation is getting ever more dramatic. The military junta, led by General Ansumane Mane, is advancing slowly into the city," MISNA said. The church on the outskirts of Bissau collapsed under the shelling, as dozens of people were seeking refuge from the fighting.

          Thousands have fled Bissau since fighting erupted again on Sunday, shattering a three-month truce that followed the signing of a peace agreement between President Joao Vieira and rebel leader General Mane in the Nigerian capital Abuja in November.

          Vieira's soldiers have been reportedly using civilians in the capital as human shields, and even forbade them from leaving the city to escape the fighting. As the fighting there intensified, rebel leaders have called for a ceasefire, to allow civilians time to leave the city. But Vieira's troops have told reporters, "Civilians are forbidden to leave Bissau."

          Meanwhile in Jakarta, Indonesian officials said on Wednesday that the death toll from recent riots between Christian and Muslim gangs in the remote Spice Islands had jumped to 95 after more bodies were found in destroyed buildings.

          Authorities expect the toll to rise as they search hundreds of wrecked homes, shops, mosques, and churches in the city of Ambon where the fighting was centered. Rioting broke out again on Tuesday between rival groups, leaving one person dead and several more injured. Local officials blamed the rioting on outside forces moving into the area to incite the inter-religious fighting.

          The Kompas newspaper in the city of Medan quoted the vice-governor of North Sumatra province on Wednesday that about 200 "provocateurs" had moved into the area this week to incite riots in that area. "I have received information from Jakarta that there are plans to make North Sumatra the second Ambon," he was quoted as saying.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 24
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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