Two hundred special police were helping to maintain order in Indonesia's eastern Maluku province Monday after rioting between Muslims and Christians that left three people dead and scores injured.
Authorities said police fired into a crowd in the city of Ambon Sunday to dispel rival groups who were fighting with rocks and machetes. Indonesia's chief security minister called on all parties in the city to help calm the situation.
The rioting was sparked by the death of a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver. Police say the man died in a collision, but rumors quickly spread that he had been tortured and killed by Christians. Reports say more than 60 people were injured in the fray.
Mainly Muslim Indonesia has large Christian communities in Maluku, once known as the Spice Islands. Fighting between Muslims and Christians killed more than 9,000 people there between 1999 and 2002, but the area has been largely peaceful since then.