Suspected militants kill four in Indonesia

Indonesian police and the military are hunting for suspected militants who killed four people.
Indonesian police and the military are hunting for suspected militants who killed four people.

Four people believed to be Christians have been killed by militants in Indonesia.

Ten militants linked to a "terrorist" group beheaded one victim and slit the throats of the others on the island of Sulawesi on Friday, national police spokesman Awi Setiyono quoted a witness as saying.

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said the attack was another serious escalation against the Christian minority in Indonesia.

US-based advocacy group International Christian Concern said an alleged terrorist killed four Christians in the Sulawesi village, burning down a Salvation Army post and Christian homes.

According to witness reports, the perpetrators had asked for food from the victims, and were killed when they refused, Awi told Reuters.

He denied the attacks were religiously motivated.

"We're on the ground now, there's about 100 people who will start chasing (the perpetrators)," Awi told the news channel Metro TV.

The investigation, led by the Indonesian police and the military, may run into hurdles as the incident took place in a hilly, remote village near the region of Sigi in Central Sulawesi province, he said.

Australian Associated Press