Several Nations Tighten Christmas Security - News Hunter Magazine

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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Several Nations Tighten Christmas Security

Security forces are on high alert in several countries this Christmas
because of concern that radical Muslim groups could attack churches or
Christian communities.

In Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, security
officials said they had deployed 80,000 police officers and 65,000
military personnel across the country to deter any acts of violence
against Christian targets.

Indonesian Chief of Police General Sutarman, who uses only one name,
said he hoped Christmas and New Year celebrations would be free of
problems.

"The security measures covered activities inside churches, activities
at entertainment areas, tourist spots," he said. "As a whole, we try
to anticipate what could happen as best as possible."

The announcement came as a car was bombed outside a church in far
eastern Ambon province Wednesday. The attack did not injure anyone,
and the suspects were still at large.

Meanwhile, many in Pakistan's Christian community are taking a low-key
approach to the holiday following the Dec. 16 Taliban attack at a
school in Peshawar that left 148 people dead.

One Christian resident in northwestern Pakistan, who did not want to
be identified, told VOA that celebrations would be toned down out of
respect for the dead: "We will celebrate our Christmas with
simplicity. We will remember the slain students and others in our
prayers."

Security has been increased in Kenya, which has experienced a number
of attacks on passenger buses by the Somali militant group al-Shabab,
as well as common robbers.

Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans are traveling to their home areas
this week. Martabel Auma Owalo told VOA that her trip from Mombassa
went without incident.

"There were many roadblocks on the way," she said. "And there was no
incident. The passengers were comfortable and the security was good."

In northern Nigeria, officials in Borno state announced a five-day ban
on all kinds of vehicular activity. The move was aimed at curbing
attacks by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram.



Credit: VOA News

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