(RNS) Nearly 40 people were reported dead Monday (Dec. 27) in a fresh round of Christian-Muslim violence on the Indonesian island of Ambon, ignoring efforts to bring peace to a region once celebrated for its religious tolerance.

Indonesia's official Antara news agency said the victims were from two days of clashes that broke out after a 14-year-old Muslim boy was hit by a car driven by a Christian.

Most of the victims were burned to death in arson and fighting on Dec. 26 in Ambon city, the capital of the Spice Island province, and already devastated by yearlong sectarian strife, Reuters reported.

Once held up as a model of interreligious tolerance, Ambon has been plagued by a year of violent clashes triggered by a dispute between a taxi driver and a drunk that have taken some 800 lives.

The Associated Press reported that in addition to the deaths, Ambon's main Christian church and a Muslim mosque were set on fire.

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