Indonesia president cancels trip abroad after deadly protest

Clashes broke out on Friday between police and hard-liners who demanded the arrest of Jakarta's minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy

By: AP | Jakarta | Updated: November 5, 2016 10:24 am
Muslim protesters chant slogans near burning police trucks during a clash outside the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Police in the Indonesian capital clashed with hard-line Muslim protesters refusing to disperse after a massive protest Friday to demand the arrest of the city's minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) Muslim protesters chant slogans near burning police trucks during a clash outside the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Police in the Indonesian capital clashed with hard-line Muslim protesters refusing to disperse after a massive protest Friday to demand the arrest of the city’s minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has canceled a visit to Australia after a massive rally in the capital by Muslim hard-liners descended into violence, leaving one dead and 12 injured.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry says Jokowi’s trip scheduled from Sunday to Tuesday will be rescheduled because “current development has required the president to stay in Indonesia.” Jokowi addressed the nation late Friday after clashes broke out between police and hard-liners who refused to disperse. They demanded the arrest of Jakarta’s minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

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Police say one elderly man died from asthma attack after being exposed to tear gas, and the injured included eight soldiers and police and four civilians. Jokowi blamed “political actors” for taking advantage of the rally. His predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono backed the protest.