On March 9, police in Ethiopia have arrested at least 130 people who are suspected of involvement in burning down dozens of churches near Jimma town in Ethiopia’s western Oromia region, where Muslims are the majority.
The arson of dozens of churches and homes in a Christian area of the Asendabo district in Jimma occurred after a Christian allegedly desecrated a copy of Muslim holy book, the Koran, by tearing it up.
Sources from the area said that at least one person was killed and thousands of Christians have reportedly fled since the attacks erupted few days ago.
Police said it has pressed charges against the 130 suspects and said they were pursuing many others.
Over one thousand people are are said to have been engaged in the attacks, which according to sources, also has led to the burring down of 59 churches and at least 28 homes of Christians.
According to Jimma residents over 4,000 Christians have fled their homes in fear.
Ethiopia is about 60 percent Christian and 40 percent Muslim however such incidents of violence between the different religious communities are relatively rare.
(ST) March 9, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA)