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6 Killed in Indonesian Violence

February 19, 2000

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Religious violence in Indonesia’s eastern province of North Maluku killed six people, the official Antara news agency reported today.

At least two villagers were also seriously injured in the fighting Thursday and Friday between Muslims and Christians in four villages on Obi, an island south of the province’s main island of Halmahera, Antara said.

More than 2,000 villagers have sought shelter in the military barracks and police stations on the island after since 12 people were killed in the region last week, Antara said.

Muslims and Christians have long been at odds because of an influx of Muslim migrants into the region, where more than 2,000 people have been killed in the past year.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Aceh, 12 bodies _ most believed to be victims of a mass killing _ were discovered, police said.

Lt. Col. Sayed Husaini, a spokesman of the local police said eleven of the bodies, some handcuffed, were found Thursday in a 1,000-foot ravine in Lingge Isaq district in central Aceh regency.

Husaini said it appeared they had been killed two weeks ago.

``They were thrown into the ravine after being shot dead,″ he told reporters Friday night.

Residents in North Aceh on Friday found the body of a fellow villager in a pit near the region’s main town of Lhokseumawe, said Lt. Col. Syafei Aksal, North Aceh police chief.

Both Husaini and Aksal believed that the victims were killed by members of the Free Aceh Movement, a separatist group that is fighting for an independence state in the province.

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