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Jun 25, 2008

100 arrested in Indonesia over fuel hike protest: police

http://www.nancarrow-webdesk.com/warehouse/storage2/2008-w22/img.241492_t.jpgabc - Indonesia hiked the cost of fuel by nearly 30 per cent in response to soaring global oil prices, and a ballooning subsidy bill, leaving hard-pressed households facing even more economic woes.

"More than 100 people have been detained for questioning," a police officer identified only as Ari said.

He said that hundreds of students staged the rally early this morning in front of the National University in South Jakarta over the price rise decision.

"Protesters have thrown small fuel bombs (molotov) towards the police and burned tyres on the streets," he said.

Police also arrested about 26 protesters who rallied outside the presidential palace at midnight on Friday, when the price rise came into effect, Detikcom News Website reported.

A police officer said protesters had no permit to stage a rally there.

In Bandung city in West Java, 1,000 protesters from hardline Muslim group Hizbut Tahrir held a protest this morning to condemn the government's move on prices, local ElShinta radio reported.

Many ordinary Indonesians say higher fuel prices combined with the recent surge in the cost of food will put an intolerable strain on family budgets.

The price hike sparked protests across the sprawling archipelago of 234 million people when it was flagged earlier this month by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Government defended the decision on Friday, saying in a statement that even with the hike, fuel was still subsidised and "lower than in poor countries such as East Timor."


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