Indonesia Sends Troops to Stop Sectarian Fighting

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The Indonesian government has sent military forces to keep the peace after fighting between Muslims and Christians left five people dead and more than 150 wounded in the Maluku provincial capital of Ambon.

The violence began after rumors spread that a Muslim man who died in a traffic accident had been tortured to death by Christians.

Muslims then confronted some Christians after the man's funeral. The two sides began trading insults and throwing rocks at each other.

The rioters also set fire to cars and houses.

A government spokesman said a "tense calm" has been restored. National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said more than 400 special forces were deployed in Ambon.

Indonesia is overwhelmingly Muslim, but Christians form the majority in parts of Maluku - also known as the Spice Islands.

More than 9,000 people were killed in sectarian violence in Ambon between 1999 and 2002.

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