Hard-Liners Clash With Police Outside US Embassy in Jakarta
About 1,000 protestors hurled stones and Molotov cocktails in a clash with police outside the US Embassy in Central Jakarta Monday afternoon during a protest against an anti-Islam film.
At least one police officer was seen bleeding from the head and being carried to safety by fellow officers. Protesters also tried to ignite a fire truck parked outside the embassy and Molotov cocktails exploded against a fence surrounding the embassy. Police used a bullhorn to call for calm.
The demonstration started off peacefully as the group of several hundred protesters, many dressed in white, marched toward the mission on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan.
But the protest turned violent outside the embassy as members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Islamic Peoples Forum (FUI) flooded the scene, throwing rocks at the embassy and police, Detik.com reported.
Live footage aired on Metro TV showed protestors dressed in white hurling stones at Jakarta Police officers.
The demonstrations were the latest protests in Jakarta against “The Innocence of Muslim,” a film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad and set off a series of violent protests across the globe.
Demonstrations were also held Monday in the cities of Medan and Bandung. Over the weekend in the central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald’s restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.
The US Embassy posted a warning on its website telling American citizens to exercise caution in Jakarta and Medan and avoid large groups.
“The US Embassy has been informed by the Indonesian National Police that approximately 150 police will be present in Medan and approximately 1,500 police will be present in Jakarta during the demonstrations,” the warning read. “We advise, as always, that people should avoid large crowds and other gatherings that might turn violent.”