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Alleged attackers are neighboring church

By Sarai Ripine APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Jan. 4, 2010) – In Samoa, children hid in terror as a ferocious attack by stone-throwers, which allegedly included a pastor, smashed their home.

Multiple holes were left in the walls of a two-storey Vaitele Fou home and property inside was destroyed.

Stairs to the top storey are located in the middle of the house.

It is there the children of the owners hid in fear.

Two men who went to ask for the cause of the attack were also attacked.

They were admitted to Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital Saturday night with head and facial injuries.

The two are taxi drivers.

The attack allegedly came from their next door neighbours, the Assembly Of God (AOG) I Vaitele Fou church at Vaitele Fou.

The house that was damaged belongs to the husband and wife owners of Kol a Cab taxi stand at Vaitele Fou.

The owners of the taxi stand are Sia and her husband Mataafa Sepelini Poufa.

Mrs. Poufa alleged the people who threw stones at them were family of Pastor Tulua of the AOG i Vaitele Fou church at Vaitele Fou and members of the congregation.

However, "I know nothing about that," Rev. Tulua said yesterday.

He said he didn’t want to discuss the matter.

One of the Kol a Cab staff admitted to hospital suffered a cut to his head, injuries to his face and bruises elsewhere in his body.

The other had a swollen face.

Aftermath … broken glass and stones lying everywhere, leaving holes on wall.

Their party was to celebrate the New Year, Mrs. Poufa said.

It is a yearly event, she said.

They were startled when a hail of stones struck their house after 7pm, she said.

"I don’t know how many people threw stones at our house."

But there must have been many judged on the number of stones that came, she said.

She and her children ran and hid under the stairs.

Apart from the house and its contents two taxis and a van were also damaged.

"Judging by the damage to the house and the vehicles it would cost over 100,000 tala [US$40,000]" she said.

Stones littered the top floor of the house as well as downstairs.

Mrs. Poufa said somebody from the church should have let them know if too much noise was coming from their party.

They say nothing when services from the church reach a high volume, she said.

She said she has advised her upset drivers to be humble because the matter was now in the hands of the Police.

No comment from the Police could be obtained yesterday.

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