Jakarta on alert as protests after election loss turn violent
Jakarta: Police in Indonesia fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators in central Jakarta after supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto began setting fire to buildings and vehicles and pelted officers with rocks and burning objects.
National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said protests against the final results of last month’s presidential election, which showed Prabowo losing to incumbent President Joko Widodo, turned violent late on Tuesday and continued into the early hours of Wednesday.
Police are investigating reports that at least one person was killed in the disturbances, but Dedi denied live rounds had been used.
“We are still checking, but I need to reiterate that police officer were not equipped with live bullets,” he told reporters, according to the international news agency.
Local media on Wednesday (Today) reported six people had been killed, citing Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan who visited city hospitals in the morning. He said 200 people had been injured. The governor’s office did not answer calls seeking comment from Al Jazeera. Nor did the police spokesman.
Earlier, he said that dozens of people had been arrested.