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Monday, 11 October, 1999, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Bloody clashes in Jakarta
Jakarta clash
Scores were injured as riot police and students clashed
Police and demonstrators have been involved in violent clashes on the streets of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, with several injuries reported.

Warning shots and tear gas were fired at several thousand demonstrators in clashes that began in the early afternoon and went on into the evening.

The demonstrators, mainly students, were marching against a new state security law giving the military wider powers.

Jakarta clashes
Students were beaten by police with clubs
Injuries have been reported on both sides, with a number of students reportedly being rushed to hospital with bullet wounds. Other bloodstained protestors were pulled away from the scene by their friends

Local news agencies are reporting that three people have been killed but there has been no confirmation of these reports.

The clashes were sparked off when riot police prevented the crowd, which at one point reached 10,000, from converging on the parliament building.

Lines of heavily-armed police confronted the protesters, firing volleys of warning shots in the air. Tear gas was also fired into a sea of angry demonstrators, who stood their ground, throwing stones and petrol bombs.

Jakarta clashes
Up to 10,000 people at one point joined the protest
The police were backed up with troops, some armed with automatic weapons.

One student leader said his group was prepared for any outcome, including death at the hands of the army.

The demonstrators - some armed with sticks - smashed and burned at least two vehicles, one of them military. They taunted the troops and police with anti-army songs.

Some banners proclaimed that President BJ Habibie and the army commander General Wiranto were equal disasters for Indonesia.

Strewn with debris

Fragile Archipelago
As dusk fell, the demonstrators began to disperse, leaving about 1,000 students staging a sit-down protest outside the main Catholic university.

One of the capital's main 12-lane highways was closed off after being strewn with debris and stones.

Thousands of protestors also surged into the streets of Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya.

New powers

Critics of the state security bill, which now awaits President BJ Habibie's signature, say it will give the army sweeping new powers of arrest and control under any state of emergency agreed with the president.

The BBC's Jim Fish in Jakarta says the army clearly fears unrest in the wake of the loss of East Timor.

Many Indonesians fear a creeping coup by the army and the reversal of the democratic gains made since President Suharto resigned in May last year.

The BBC's Jim Fish:"Tempers are rising"
The BBC's Jim Fish: "The demonstarators are retaliating with stones"
Brigadier General Sudrajat, an Indonesian military spokesman: "This has not been rushed through"
See also:

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