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Updated: January 9, 2010 14:07 IST

Three churches attacked in Kuala Lumpur

PTI
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Kuala Lumpur fire investigators inspect the damage to a church which was destroyed by a fire bomb a little after midnight in a suburb on Friday.
AP
Kuala Lumpur fire investigators inspect the damage to a church which was destroyed by a fire bomb a little after midnight in a suburb on Friday.

Three churches were fire bombed in the Malaysian capital early Friday escalating religious tensions over the use of word “Allah” by non-Muslims, as government and opposition leaders joined to defuse the situation.

As the majority Muslims angered over the decision last week by the High Court to let Christians use the word “Allah” while referring to God were preparing to hold protest during Friday prayers, a church in the suburbs was fire bombed around midnight.

The entire ground floor office of the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati was gutted. Molotov cocktails were thrown into the compounds of two other churches, the Assumption Catholic Church and the Life Chapel Protestant Church in Petaling Jaya, causing damage to one of them.

Police said some motorcycle borne youths were seen throwing incendiary objects inside before fleeing.

Following the incidents, police beefed up security around all religious places as the Prime Minister Najib Razak condemned the attacks and directed the police to safeguard all religious places.

“I condemn these attacks. These incident destroy unity at a time when multi-religion is a way of life in our country. We will do all we can to prevent this”, Mr. Razak said. Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan said he had received number of calls of church leaders saying they were being threatened.” I have asked police cars to patrol all areas near the churches”.

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