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Indonesia President Cancels Trip After Protest Turns Violent

  • VOA News

Muslim hardline protesters cover their faces as police fire tear gas during a protest against Jakarta's incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian running in the upcoming election, Nov. 4, 2016.

Muslim hardline protesters cover their faces as police fire tear gas during a protest against Jakarta's incumbent governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian running in the upcoming election, Nov. 4, 2016.

The president of Indonesia canceled a trip to Australia after a massive rally against a Christian governor accused of insulting Islam erupted into violence in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.

One person was killed and at least 160 people were injured in the violence Friday. Ten people were arrested.

The foreign ministry said President Joko Widodo would reschedule his trip because the “current development has required the president to stay in Indonesia.”

The trip had been scheduled to begin Sunday, ending Tuesday.

The protest was mounted against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and minority Christian, accused of blasphemy. He is reported to have joked to an audience about a passage in the Quran that could be interpreted as prohibiting Muslims from accepting non-Muslims as leaders.

Tens of thousands of people attended the demonstration, which was peaceful, until some protesters clashed with police in the evening. Several vehicles were set ablaze.

Purnama has apologized for his comments, but some Muslim hard-liners have insisted on his arrest for blasphemy.

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority nation.

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