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Police fire tear gas at Prabowo supporters as Indonesia court rules on poll challenge

Published on Aug 21, 2014 4:40 PM

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesian police used tear gas and water cannon Thursday to break up a rally by supporters of the former general who lost last month's presidential election, as a court was set to uphold his opponent's victory.

As judges at the Constitutional Court started reading the lengthy verdict to Mr Prabowo Subianto's challenge of an election won by Mr Joko Widodo, which could take several hours, the police responded to a rowdy crowd of his supporters with force.

Officers fired multiple volleys of tear gas and water cannon into the crowd, which was several hundred strong, after they earlier threw rocks and attempted to push past lines of riot police guarding the road to the court, which was closed off.

Some police officers chased supporters away and hit them with batons. It lasted only a few minutes and the crowd dispersed afterwards. An AFP reporter at the scene said one unconscious protester was carried into an ambulance.

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