Shots, tear gas fired at Indonesia protests

Indonesian police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse protesters who took to the streets.

Jakarta: Indonesian police fired tear gas
and warning shots to disperse protesters who took to the
streets on Wednesday, to mark the first anniversary of the swearing
in of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

More than 150 mainly student demonstrators blocked
roads in the wealthy Menteng neighbourhood of central Jakarta
with wooden planks, and attacked police who tried to remove
them.

They hurled rocks and sticks at the riot police, who
responded with tear gas and rifle fire into the air. Three
people were taken into custody, and one man was shot in the
leg, protesters said.

"They were pushing us away for several minutes when
suddenly they opened fire. I heard 10 gunshots, the first into
the air and the rest at us," said 24-year-old student Adi.

"One student was shot in his right leg and was taken
to hospital."

One of the demonstrators shouted "this is the source
of the mess in this country" as they set a poster of Yudhoyono
alight.

"We had to fire tear gas to disperse the protesters as
they set fire to the president`s poster," Jakarta police
spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.

"We`ll take firmer action against them if they start
to burn cars or buildings."

Thousands of protesters took part in other
anti-government rallies today in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya,
Palu and Bogor, where students also reportedly clashed with
police.

Almost 20,000 police were on standby in the capital to
deal with any unrest, the Antara state news agency reported.

PTI

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