A bomb exploded near a church early Thursday in an eastern Indonesian city, but no one was injured, a police chief said. Lt. Col. Leonidas Braksan said the blast occurred at 3:30 a.m. in Ambon, the capital of the Maluku island chain, where fighting between Muslims and Christians between 1999 and 2001 killed 9,000 people.
He said five people were being questioned about the explosion, which occurred on a road near a Protestant church. Detectives taped off the area and combed through the debris, collecting shrapnel and long nails apparently used in the bomb. They said they were still trying to determine what kind of explosive material was used.
Residents said the blast could be heard two kilometers (more than a mile) away, Metro TV station reported, although it left only a small hole in the road.
More than 80 percent of Indonesia's 210 million people are Muslims, but the Maluku Islands are evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. The area has been largely peaceful since 2001, but sporadic shootings and bombings still take place, reports the AP. I.L.
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