6 killed, 200 injured, police vehicles set ablaze in Jakarta post-election riots

Nearly 60 people have been arrested so far.

Matthias Ang | May 22, 2019, 05:49 PM

The re-election of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the 2019 Indonesia presidential election has set off a backlash.

Riots began on May 21 night

On the night of May 21, riots broke out in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta following the announcement of the official election results, CNA reported.

Riots continued to escalate into May 22 morning.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan announced that six people had died, with more than 200 injured, as of local time 9am (Singapore time 10am), The Jakarta Post reported.

A spokesperson for Indonesia's national police, Inspector-General Mohammad Iqbal, added that 14 vehicles, including three police vehicles, had also been set ablaze, The Straits Times reported.

Additionally, 58 "provocateurs" have since been arrested for allegedly being behind the violence.

Riots were not spontaneous but "by design"

Iqbal further added that the riots were not spontaneous, but "by design".

He said that envelopes containing money had been seized, although no further details were given.

Another spokesperson for the National Police, Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo, added that at least 20 of the detained suspects were not from Jakarta, The Jakarta Post reported separately.

With regards to how the riots started on May 21 night, Iqbal said, as per CNA:

"Around 11pm, there was a sudden crowd build-up -- we do not know where they came from; they were provocative and violent."

He pointed out that the protesters also attacked the police with a variety of projectiles:

"They damaged security barriers and provoked officers. As per our standard operating procedure, officials pushed them back. The protesters were not cooperative and brutally attacked officers with rocks, molotov cocktails and firecrackers."

In response, the police fired tear gas, crowd control guns and rubber pellet grenades, ST further reported.

Gunshots were also reported to have been heard, although Dedi denied that the police and military personnel used live ammunition to disperse protesters.

Multiple locations attacked, morning commuters forced to flee

Locations that were attacked included the police mobile brigade (Brimob) housing complex in West Jakarta, and Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta, The Jakarta Post further reported.

Protestors set multiple cars on fire at the Brimob housing complex and blocked the road in Tanah Abang Market with burning tires and iron sheeting.

Multiple shootings and explosions were also heard at the latter location, which saw hundreds of protesters clash with the police.

The market fray also saw morning commuters from Tanah Abang station forced to flee back into the police-guarded station and remain inside, amidst the sound of gunshots and people allegedly shouting, "Retreat! Retreat!"

Meanwhile, the situation at the police housing complex has supposedly been brought under control, with a spokesperson for the Jakarta police urging people to stay calm and proceed about their daily activities as the area had been cleared.

ST reported that road blockades were set up by the police around Brimob, with army reserves deployed, who were subsequently seen negotiating with the crowd.

Jakarta governor urges peaceful protests

Anies further responded to the protests by urging protesters to do so in a peaceful manner, The Jakarta Post reported.

Anies said:

"Please protest in a peaceful and orderly manner. I also urge law enforcement personnel to practice restraint to avoid any unwanted conflicts with the protesters."

In the meantime, both the Indonesian National Police and military have deployed around 40,000 personnel to guard the General Elections Commission, Elections Supervisory Agency, Presidential Palace, legislative complex and embassies.

Here's how Prabowo reacted to the results:

More details on Jokowi's victory:

Top image screenshot collage from Reuters