Over 250 arrested in Indonesia following protests

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Jakarta, May 23 (IANS) At least 257 people were arrested following deadly protests in the Indonesian capital against the re-election of President Joko Widodo for a second five-year term, police said on Thursday.

At least six people were killed died and more than 200 have been wounded since the riots started on Tuesday night, reports Efe news.

The clashes between police and hundreds of followers of the losing candidate, former army general Prabowo Subianto, have paralysed central Jakarta for two days.

On Wednesday night, protesters threw flares, stones and other objects at the riot police, who responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and selective arrests outside the headquarters of the Elections Supervisory Agency and the surrounding areas.

Jakarta Police spokesperson Prabowo Argo Yuwono told the media that the arrests were made in connection to the destruction of public property and inciting violence.

The fatalities resulted from bullet wounds and blunt objects, according to the police, who denied the use of live ammunition and accused the rioters of using firearms.

The official number of those wounded is 200, although sources from several hospitals told the official Indonesian news agency Antara that that figure exceeds 350, many of whom have already been discharged.

Security Minister, Wiranto, on Wednesday announced certain restrictions of social media, such as distributing pictures and videos on Whatsapp in certain areas to prevent the spread of rumours, false information and the escalation of violence.

The Elections Commission of Indonesia on Tuesday announced the victory of Joko with 55.5 per cent of the votes as against 44.5 per cent secured by his rival Prabowo in the April 17 polls.

–IANS

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