Asia-Pacific

Six protesters killed in Jakarta, hundreds injured

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Six people have died and at least 200 are injured in civil unrest in Jakarta, according to the local governor, after Tuesday's release of election results.

Six people have died and at least 200 have been injured in civil unrest in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, governor Anies Baswedan said after the election commission confirmed President Joko Widodo had won last month's vote.

Supporters of unsuccessful presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto have clashed with security forces since Tuesday, setting fire to a Jakarta police dormitory, attempting to force their way into the offices of the election supervisory agency and burning vehicles.

"As per 9am, there were 200 people hurt being brought to five hospitals," governor Anies told broadcaster TVOne.

"The number of people dead was six." 

In a public address, the governor Anies said he had gone to Tarakan Hospital in Jakarta to check on the injured protesters.

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Police dorm attacked, set ablaze in Jakarta violence
Police dorm attacked, set ablaze in Jakarta violence

“Tarakan Hospital received the largest number of patients as of this morning. Around 80 injured protesters were brought in this morning. Meanwhile, around 70 injured protesters were admitted to Pelni Hospital in West Jakarta,” he said, according to The Jakarta Post.

National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said protests turned violent late Tuesday and continued during the night, with more than 20 detained.

On Wednesday, protesters and security forces continued to face off, with police deploying tear gas and rubber bullets.

The country's election commission on Tuesday released official results that confirmed Widodo, 57, had beaten retired military general Prabowo Subianto for the presidency in a poll held on 17 April.

Subianto has said he would challenge the results in court and warned that his claims of widespread cheating could spark street protests.

Several thousand people rallied in support of Subianto near the election supervisory agency office in the heart of the capital Jakarta on Tuesday.

The protest ended peacefully, but police in riot gear later fired tear gas at some demonstrators who refused to leave the area and hurled fireworks and other objects at police.

Earlier, some protesters had set market stalls on fire.

It was not immediately clear if any demonstrators or police were injured in the clash.

More than 30,000 troops were deployed across the capital in anticipation of protests after the official election results were published.

Indonesian protesters clash with riot police officers during a protest following the announcement of the presidential election results in Jakarta.
Indonesian protesters clash with riot police officers during a protest following the announcement of the presidential election results in Jakarta.
EPA

Tensions have also spiked since police said last week that they had arrested dozens of Islamic State-linked terror suspects who had planned to cause chaos by bombing post-election protests.

Last month, a record 245,000 candidates ran for public office in Indonesia's elections, from the presidency and parliamentary seats to local positions -- the first time all were held on the same day.

High-profile arrest made

A former Indonesian military special forces commander has also been arrested for trying to smuggle weapons into protests against President Widodo's re-election.

A military spokesperson confirmed to local media that a retired major general known only as 'S', believed to be Major General Soenarko, and two others had been arrested for weapons smuggling. 

Speaking to Indonesian media this week, presidential chief of staff Moeldoko said General Soenarko was now being "processed".

“Our intelligence has captured attempts to smuggle weapons. Their aim was definitely to disrupt the situation (around the election protests),” he said.

Joko Widodo casting his ballot on April 17.
Joko Widodo casting his ballot on April 17.
AAP

“They could have shot into the crowd, making it seem as if it was coming from the police and military security forces. That would be a trigger that would make the situation become chaotic."

Indonesian news outlet Coconut Jakarta reported General Soenarko had also been reported to the authorities for making 'treasonous' statements. 

Protests and riots were planned immediately after the election results were announced, with fears tension would only escalate after Soenarko's arrest. 

With Reuters.

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