SAMPANG, Indonesia — A mob attack on Shiites in Indonesia saw two men killed with sickles and dozens of homes torched, police and a human rights group said Monday, in the latest sign of rising intolerance in the world's largest Muslim country.
Around 500 villagers, mostly Sunnis and many armed with machetes, attacked a group of Shiite students in the town of Sampang in East Java province Sunday, Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace researcher Ismail Hasani told AFP.
"Our sources on the ground said it was an attack by Sunnis on Shiites. There were similar incidents before," he said.
"There is rising religious intolerance as there was never a strong law enforcement in handling violence, which encouraged militancy among the ordinary citizens," he added.
East Java provincial police spokesman Hilman Thayib said two men were killed and six were injured, while 39 homes were set alight during the clash. He said nearly 2,000 police and security forces had been deployed to guard the area.
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