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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"The bloodshed is sure to increase"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 12:52 GMT
Jakarta police fire teargas
A protester is dragged by his hair by police
Violence flared outside the Golkar office
Indonesian police have fired teargas against protesters during a rally in Jakarta.

A protester, standing in front of a line of fire, taunts security forces
Protesters hurled firebombs
The clashes happened outside the offices of Golkar, the party of former president Suharto.

AFP news agency said police fired teargas at protesters after they threw the firebombs at the building.

Police had found boxes containing 336 fuel bombs in a parked minibus not far from the area shortly before, AFP said.

Former president Suharto, who ruled with an iron fist for 32 years, was forced to step down amid social and economic chaos in 1998.

Army warning

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 students gathered for a separate protest in the parliament grounds in Jakarta to demand the resignation of President Abdurrahman Wahid.

A protester is dragged away by police
Jakarta was hit by three protests on Tuesday
A similar number of his supporters held a rally at the presidential palace.

Mr Wahid, Indonesia's first democratically elected leader, is under mounting pressure to step down after 16 turbulent months in power.

Indonesia's army commander warned that the military could take over security control from the police if the country descended into chaos.

"We must guard the nation if a chaotic situation erupts," General Endriartono Sutarto was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.

President Abdurrahman Wahid
Mr Wahid: Branded a failure by opponents
"We are not going to let it occur nationwide. The nation's interests are paramount.''

Any move by the generals to assume police duties would contravene the current government's policy of separating the two services.

The police are currently responsible for quelling internal conflicts in the country - a task that was the domain of the army during the Suharto era.


Protests against Mr Wahid's rule have intensified since parliament censured him last month over his alleged involvement in two corruption scandals.

Wahid under investigation
Bulogate: Disappearance of $4m from the national food agency
Bruneigate: Status of $2m donation from Sultan of Brunei

The president's problems have been compounded by escalating fighting in Aceh and Irian Jaya, where there are strong calls for independence, and an explosion of ethnic violence in Borneo where nearly 500 people have died.

The ongoing crisis saw both the currency and the stock market hit their lowest levels in two years on Monday.

On Sunday, the government's top security minister, General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, warned that Indonesia was in danger of collapse.

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See also:

12 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid stands firm amid protests
10 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid visits Borneo refugees
26 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
'Time running out' for Wahid
13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's fragile archipelago
06 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Wahid's many problems
28 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Rise and fall of strongman Suharto
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