Islamist terrorists from the East Indonesia Mujahideen killed four Christian farmers in Poso district in Central Sulawesi province.
The farmers were working in a coffee plantation in Kalimago village on 11 May when they were attacked by five men wielding swords.
According to police spokesman for Central Sulawesi, Didik Supranoto, the attack was reported by a fifth farmer who escaped.
Farmers from the village had informed police that wounds to their necks were noticed on two of the victims. There were unconfirmed reports that one had been beheaded.
Supranoto revealed that the farmers recognised one of the perpetrators as being a member of East Indonesia Mujahideen.
University of Indonesia intelligence analyst Stanislaus Riyanta said that East Indonesia Mujahideen comprises ten members.
“They are increasingly pressed because they are hunted by the task force team, police and military personnel, so they killed the local people,” Riyanta explained.
The Mujahideen leader Ali Kalora, who has affirmed allegiance to Islamic State, is being hunted by police. He is thought to be responsible for an earlier brutal attack by Islamist militants on a church and Salvation Army post on Sulawesi on 27 November 2020. In the raid on Lemban Tongoa, in Central Sulawesi, a gang of around ten militants armed with guns and knives killed four Christians. They beheaded one victim, slit the throat of a second and broke the neck of a third. A fourth victim was burnt to death.
The group is thought to have been set up in 2012. Whereas the better known Jamaah Ansharut Daulah group functions throughout Indonesia, East Indonesia Mujahideen’s operations are confined largely to Central Sulawesi province.
Home to the world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia has seen a rise in hard-line Islamic ideology in recent years. A generation ago, Muslims and Christians lived peaceably as equals in accordance with Pancasila.