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Indonesia minister says 'brutal' student protests were hijacked

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By Reuters
Indonesia minister says 'brutal' student protests were hijacked
FILE PHOTO: Indonesia Chief Security Minister Wiranto delivers a speech during a meeting between former militants and victims in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta   -   Copyright  BEAWIHARTA(Reuters)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Recent “brutal” student protests in Indonesia were hijacked by a group with the aim of disrupting parliament and the inauguration of President Joko Widodo next month for a new term, the chief security minister said on Thursday.

“The brutal demonstrations perpetrated by rioters, fighting against officers, throwing rocks, shooting fireworks at the officers at night, they were trying to make victims,” Chief Security Minister Wiranto told a news conference.

He was referring to recent student rallies targeting new laws that have at times descended into violence.

Wiranto said that rather than seeking to correct government policies, the demonstrations aimed to occupy the upper house “with the end goal being to stop the president from being inaugurated”.

(Reporting by Tabita Diela and Stanley Wididanto; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)