Friday, 2 January 2009 10:27 AM

Police Hunt Suspect on Anglican Priest Attack

Police in Malaita are searching for a man allegedly responsible for attacking an Anglican priest in East Malaita over religious differences.

Solomon Star reports that Malaita's Provincial Police Commander David Diosi confirms police is searching for the suspect Jack Rade - leader of the Muslim League community in East Malaita in relation to the attack.

Mr. Diosi confirms witness reports saying Mr Rade had threatened to cut off the priest's head and destroy anyone who goes against the will of the Muslim League Community of East Malaita.

He says police did attempt to arrest Mr Rade on one occasion after the attack but he escaped custody after lying to them.

He says communities in East Malaita have since retaliated to the attack by hijacking and damaging a jeep vehicle owned by the Muslim group.

He says the community is also demanding compensation from the Muslim group.

The Provincial Police Commander says the situation between the Muslim group and communities in East Malaita is very hostile and police have appealed to the Muslim elders to handover the suspect.

The Anglican priest is reportedly suffering from trauma after the assault which happened on the sixteenth of December 2008.

The attack reportedly was in retaliation to an alleged stoning of the Muslim League's vehicle and hurling of insults directed towards their adopted Islam religion.

Police have declined to release the name of the priest.

Source: SIBC News