More than 200 Indonesian Christians and Muslims have been killed this summer in violence linked in part to simmering religious tensions. Many of the deaths occurred on the eastern Indonesian island of Halmahera after militant Muslims, calling themselves Laskar Jihad, attacked a Christian village. Indonesia's 207 million people live on the nation's 13,000 islands.Tempers continue to flare in the troubled region, which has seen more than 2,500 people killed since religious fighting broke out 18 months ago. According to reports, a band of about 500 Muslims armed with military-style weapons attacked the predominantly Christian village of Duma. During the one-hour clash, Christians fought back with homemade weapons or fled into nearby forests.In addition, many homes and a church were torched. An army official said there were only 30 officers on duty at the time of the attack, and they could not slow the fighting until reinforcements arrived.Military officials were eventually able to bring the village under control, and the wounded were taken to a nearby town. The violent outbreaks have divided Muslims and Christians serving in police and military units.While Indonesia is overwhelmingly Muslim, the Maluku islands, where the violence has broken out, are predominantly Christian.
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