Asia Six dead in Jakarta riots in protest against presidential elections result

Six dead in Jakarta riots in protest against presidential elections result

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At least six people were killed as Indonesia’s capital erupted in violence when police clashed with protesters opposed to the re-election of President Joko Widodo.

Police sirens blared as fresh skirmishes broke out Wednesday evening with thousands of protesters chanting and waving Indonesian flags in the heart of the capital.

Some hurled stones and fireworks at riot police who lined up behind a razor wire barricade near the election supervisory agency building.

Police pushed back the main group of rioters after firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators.

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At least three officers were injured in the clashes and carried away, an AFP reporter on the scene said.

Earlier, dozens were arrested and parts of Jakarta were littered with debris and burned-out cars, as the violence triggered security advisories from the US and Australian embassies.

Authorities also restricted access to some social media in a bid to stop rumours and fake news from spreading online.

National police chief Tito Karnavian said six people had died, but denied authorities had fired live rounds at protesters, and called for calm.

“Some had gunshot wounds, some had blunt force wounds but we still need to clarify this,” he told reporters.

Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan said about 200 people had been injured.

The violence came after Indonesia’s election commission on Tuesday confirmed Widodo had beaten retired military general Prabowo Subianto for the presidency in a poll held on April 17.

Subianto has said he would challenge the results in court — as he did, unsuccessfully, against Widodo in 2014 — but also warned his claims of widespread cheating could spark street protests. AFP

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