Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Violent Protest In Indonesia

Violent protest leaves 13 injured, forces closure of airport in east Indonesia: Officials

Police used tear gas and water cannon to repel thousands of protesters, some throwing rocks and glass shards, at an airport in eastern Indonesia, officials said.

At least 13 people, including two security officers, were injured when riot police moved in to end the violent protest at Sultan Khairun Babullah Airport in Ternate, the capital of North Maluku province, said provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Mustofa, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

The protesters, angry about the exclusion of a candidate from a governorship election, had traveled to the airport to try and stop electoral officials from leaving.

Some protesters blocked roads with garbage, oil drums and glass in an attempt to stop them reaching the airport, while others destroyed offices and houses in Ternate forcing schools and business to shut down.

The airport was subsequently closed, the airport chief said.

"For safety reasons, we have decided to close the airport," said Ras Burhani. "It will be reopened after the situation returns to normal."