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35 detained after religious rampage
From correspondents in Jakarta
INDONESIAN police have detained 35 people for vandalizing mosques and houses belonging to a minority Muslim sect in West Java province, a report and police have said.
Several mosques and houses were badly damaged and at least three cars burned in four villages Monday night, confirmed an officer at the Cianjur district police office who identified himself only as Herman.
He declined to give further details, saying all officers were still at the scene.
ElShinta radio reported damage to four mosques, three religious schools and 33 houses after a group of students from a local Islamic boarding school and residents went on the rampage.
Cianjur Deputy Police Chief Commissioner Rudy Mardianto told ElShinta that 35 people had been detained for questioning.
The damaged buildings belonged to the Ahmadiya, a Muslim sect which the country’s highest authority on Islam has outlawed as a deviant sect.
Ahmadiya was founded in the late 19th century in what is now Pakistan with the professed goal of reviving Islam by stressing non-violence and tolerance.
It breaks sharply with mainstream Islam by not insisting Mohammed was necessarily the last prophet.
The sect is a target of periodic violence. A major Ahmadiya mosque in nearby Bogor, West Java, was attacked and damaged last month.