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Riot police deployed over Indonesian fuel protests 12/05/2008

Riot police have sealed off Indonesia's presidential palace as hundreds of students prepared to protest against planned fuel price rises.

Police say thousands of officers were on standby, amid heightened tensions related to the 10th anniversary of the end of the regime of former president Suharto on 21 May.

Razor wire was been strung across the road outside the palace, and police lined up behind riot shields, as thousands of demonstrators peacefully chanted slogans and waved banners criticising the government on a range of issues.

There has been widespread anger in Indonesia over government plans to raise subsidised fuel prices by as much as 30 percent.

Media reports say the demonstrations have also included protestors who want Suharto's allies to be prosecuted for corruption and human rights abuses.

One protest in Indonesia's second largest city of Surabaya briefly turned violent when demonstrators tried to break through police lines outside Airlangga University, where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was attending a cremony.

One student reportedly suffered head injuries in clashes with police.

Other rallies have been held in several cities in Java and Sumatra.

Produced by Radio Australia and Australia Network

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Last updated: Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 08:00:01

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