APSN Banner

Seven students injured in clashes

Agence France Presse - November 18, 1998

Jakarta, – Seven students were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital after clashes with soldiers in eastern Indonesia, reports here said Wednesday The students, from Pattimura University in Ambon, the main city in Maluku province, were among hundreds demonstrating against the violence used to quell protests in Jakarta that left 14 dead and more than 400 injured, the Antara news agency said.

The clash took place late on Monday as the students attempted to hand over a protest petition to the local provincial military officials. Security personnel, including soldiers and police, charged into the demonstraters with clubs, seriously injuring seven who were taken to hospital in police cars. Another 10 received minor injuries, Antara said, and 10 were detained.

The demonstrators had earlier Monday briefly occupied the local studios of state Radio Republik Indonesia and forced it to broadcast their demands. The rallies were followed by civilian supports of the students throwing rocks at several shops and government offices in Ambon, Antara added. The agency said the students were planning to hold a fresh protest rally Wednesday, after Tuesday's Moslem holiday which saw most cities quiet.

Large rallies were also reported Monday in at least 10 other Indonesian cities, including Jakarta, as students aired various demands including the resignation of armed forces chief General Wiranto, the Kompas daily said. In Jakarta at least four small groups of students and youths held marches across town but no incidents were reported.

The largest demonstrations took place in Semarang and Yogyakarta, in central Java. Thousands of students rallied at a major traffic intersection in Semarang to protest the army's violence, burning effigies of soldiers. In Yogyakarta, 2,000 students held a peaceful protest rally in front of the local presidential summer palace.

Student protest were also held in Bandung and Tasikmalaya in West Java, Ujungpandang in South Sulawesi, Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Padang and Medan in Sumatra, and in Denpasar on the resort island of Bali.

Heavy clashes in Jakarta between armed soldiers and students on Friday and unrest that followed on the next day left 14 dead and more than 400 injured and caused more than 2.3 miliion dollars in damage, Antara said.