Masked men beheaded 3 Christian girls as they walked to school near the Muslim town of Poso. "The perpetrators wore black attire and veils and they used machetes to slash (the victims)," said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia.

A police official earlier gave a different story saying there were only 2 men who were on a motorcycle and a student who survived the attack said the attackers wore helmets and had a 2-way radio. A later story said there were 6 masked men.

"I want to tell... Poso that such violence cannot be tolerated, and the police with the military will make sure that it will not happen again." said the President. Christian and Muslim clashes in the area are said to have subsided since a deal in 2001.