|TOP|The shocking news has stunned the region, and is the latest in a long line of religious attacks in the country.
The three girls were attending a private Christian school in the highly tense province of Central Sulawesi. The three were attacked by unidentified assailants, and a fourth girl was left seriously wounded.
Police in the region commented that sickeningly one of the girl’s heads was taken and placed by the attackers in front of a new Christian church, and the other two taken and placed outside the police station.
Latest reports have indicated that the country is significantly increasing the police presence in the region following the attack, in which the girls were killed with machetes as they walked to school near Poso.
According to ABC News, about 200 police and 600 military soldiers have been dispatched to the town to ease escalating tensions.
Police have reported that the attacks appear to be aimed at inciting religious unrest, and gave a stern warning that they are expecting further unrest to follow.
Religious clashes between Christians and Muslims in Poso have killed more than 2,000 people since 1998, according to ABC News, and the Indonesian police chief, General Sutanto has called desperately on the leaders of the religions to calm their two communities, as fears over a backlash increase with the Mislim religious holiday of Eid al-Fitr coming up.
Christian leaders across the globe have been greatly shocked by the recent developments in Indonesia, and among them, the Vatican has stated that the Pope was praying for peace among the Indonesian people.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, however, Sulawesi has roughly an equal number of Christians and Muslims.
The region is well known for its violence between the two communities, and a sectarian war in 2001 and 2002 killed more than 1,000 people, with beheadings, burnings among the horror witnessed. The government has attempted a number of times to mediate a ceasefire and a truce between the two sides, but the persecution against Christians has resumed with horrendous results.