Mon, 08 Mar 1999

Buildings pelted in Bandung

BANDUNG, West Java: Three house-shops used by church congregations, a school, a supermarket and at least 20 shop- houses were pelted by stones thrown by crowds here on Sunday.

Some of the buildings were then set on fire.

Police said they were investigating the cause of the people's anger, but said it was believed the people were angry that a Mass had taken place in a shop-house that morning because it was not an official worship site, they said.

The affected buildings were in Kopo Indah housing complex and included four classrooms in an elementary school there. Other buildings were in Taman Holis Indah in Cigondewah Kidul subdistrict and Jl. Taman Rahayu Bandung in Margaasih district outside the capital.

Crowds arrived while Mass was being held in Kopo Indah at about 9:30 a.m.

West Bandung Police chief Lt. Col. Robert Mokodongan said no one had been arrested.

No one was hurt in the incidents.

Antara reported that the sites were being used by Christian congregations.

Djoni Djohandi, an official at the school of BPK Penabur in Taman Holis, was quoted as saying he was surprised at the attack given the good neighborly relations.

"Besides studying activities, we do not have any religious activities here," he added. (43/anr)