A manhunt is underway in Indonesia following the murder of four Christians and the burning down of multiple homes.
Ten people from a “terrorist” group beheaded one victim and slit the throats of the others on Friday in a village in Central Sulawesi province according to Reuters.
“This attack is another serious escalation against the Christian minority in Indonesia,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono.
Witnesses told national police spokesman Awi Setiyono that the perpetrators had asked for food from the victims, then killed them when they refused.
“We’re on the ground now, there’s about 100 people who will start chasing,” Setiyono told a local news channel.
He added that police identified at least three of the suspects as members of East Indonesia Mujahideen.
Security forces in Central Sulawesi have recently increased in an effort to apprehend members of the East Indonesia Mujahideen militant group. The former leader, Abu Wardah Santoso, was killed in a shootout with police in 2016.
International Christian Concern Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, Gina Goh, said, “ICC mourns the death of the Indonesian brothers and sisters who were brutally murdered by the alleged terrorist. We urge the Indonesian government to take necessary measures to hold him accountable and put him to justice. Such senseless act cannot be tolerated in the country that boasts ‘Pancasila,’ the state ideology which promotes religious harmony and tolerance.”