Hundreds of machete wielding protesters in Jakarta have clashed with security forces using water cannon and rubber bullets over plans to build in an area containing an Islamic scholar’s tomb.
Several vehicles, including buses and trucks were set on fire during a day of running battles between 2,000 public order officers and furious residents in the worst violence seen in the Indonesian capital for years.
Some of the protesters, are said by police, to be supporters of the Islamic Defenders Front, a hard-line group known for attacking bars and nightclubs.
The fighting brought the city’s seafront to a standstill. A local TV channel said several people had been killed but failed to attribute the claim to any official source.
The authorities deny planning to dismantle the tomb saying instead they want to renovate it.
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