The Jakarta Post
Hours after breaking out on Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta, the riot that began as an election protest to challenge the victory of incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo spread to Slipi, West Jakarta, on Wednesday afternoon, with protesters burning tires on the streets and throwing stones at security personnel.
Two police buses that were parked next to the Slipi overpass were set on fire by the rioters as they shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) amid loud explosions.
A thick plume of smoke filled the sky, prompting motorists heading toward the overpass, which is located across from the Menara Peninsula Hotel and the Wisma 77 office tower, to turn around and find alternative routes.
Scores of military personnel responded to the fire, managing to extinguish the fire around 12:20 p.m.
Security personnel were also seen along the overpass heading toward Kemanggisan.
Thousands joined the election protest in front of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, with protesters demanding Jokowi be disqualified for alleged election fraud.
The crowd had dispersed in the evening before dozens tried to break into the Bawaslu building at around 10 p.m.
The crowd grew and became more violent, with police responding by firing tear gas and pushing the rioters toward Tanah Abang Market, away from the election watchdog building. The riot then worsened, with protesters throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and starting fires along the streets.
The rioters also set fire to a police dormitory in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, at 3.30 a.m. along with a dozen cars and buses in the area.
As of Wednesday afternoon, crowds of protesters are still present in Petamburan and Tanah Abang. (ars)