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Lawlessness in stricken Aceh region deepens Indonesian tsunami crisis

[JURIST] As the reported death toll in Indonesia alone exceeded 79,000 Thursday in the aftermath of the tsunami that hit South Asia Sunday, causing more than 120,000 deaths, lawlessness has become a problem in the northern Indonesian region of Aceh, hardest hit by the disaster which originated in an undersea earthquake just 93 kilometers to the west. With military and police tied up in the relief efforts, looting has broken out, undertaken by both criminal elements and homeless survivors urgently seeking food. An arson attack on a Methodist church has also been reported. Aceh was already the scene of largely-religious civil strife between fundamentalist muslims and the secular Indonesian authorities before the tsunamai and was under a military government; the long-term effect of the tsunami on the ongoing political problems in the area is as yet unclear. AFP has more.

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