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Anti-American Protests Continue in Indonesia - 2001-10-11


Demonstrations against the American-led anti-terrorist action in Afghanistan have continued for the fourth straight day in Indonesia.

Singing, "Down with America," some 150 students gathered outside the British embassy in Jakarta to protest its participation in air strikes in Afghanistan.

It was one of the few times, during the current protests, the students have directed their anger at the British Government. Still, their chants and slogans, were mostly anti-American in nature.

Across the capital, hundreds of demonstrators also rallied in front of the U.S embassy the fourth straight day of protests there.

Indonesian security forces have increased security outside both diplomatic missions. Hundreds of riot police stand guard along a row of two-meter high razor wire fence at the American embassy which has reopened Thursday after being shut for three days.

Police fired tear gas, water cannon and warning shots at demonstrators two days ago, when they tried to break through the razor wire fence.

Another 3,000 protesters also rallied in the city of Palu on the island of Sulawesi.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation. The demonstrators say they believe the United States is, as they describe it a "terrorist nation" and they want the air strikes against suspected terrorist camps in Afghanistan to stop.

President Megawati Sukarnoputri has promised to support U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. But other cabinet officials later called on the United States to limit its mission in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the leaders of a small radical group called Islamic Defenders Front say their members will start conducting "sweeps" in search of Americans and Britons whom they will force to leave the country. The warning comes after the group's deadline issued to the government to suspend ties with Washington passed.

Police and government officials have said they will not tolerate any attacks on Americans or other foreign nationals.

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