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Death toll climbs to 8, hundreds injured in Indonesian post-election riots

By Darryl Coote
Indonesian police said they have arrested 442 people, including two suspects with connections to the Islamic State. Photo by Adi Weda/EPA-EFE
Indonesian police said they have arrested 442 people, including two suspects with connections to the Islamic State. Photo by Adi Weda/EPA-EFE

May 24 (UPI) -- The death toll rose to eight following two days of rioting in the Indonesian capital as police and supporters of a failed presidential candidate clashed, authorities said.

Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said Thursday that 737 people had also received treatment at local hospitals with 79 people seriously injured.

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"The largest [group] undergoing treatment were 294 people of 20-29 years of age, followed by 170 people below the age of 19," he said. "So, the number of young adults is quite high."

Four of the victims had died of stab wounds while the cause of death for the other victims was still being investigated, Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said.

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The riot broke out Tuesday after the surprise announcement by the General Elections Commission that President Joko Widodo had won a second term in office.

His rival, retired general Prabowo Subianto, said he rejected the election results, claiming the vote was rigged and telling supporters to continue with scheduled protests.

Subianto was expected to submit his formal complaint to the Constitutional Court on Friday.

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A total of 442 people have been arrested in connection to the riots that police suspect were organized, funded and linked to a local Islamic State-affiliated group.

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National Police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal said that police had two people in custody with links to Islamic Reform Movement, also known as Garis, which was founded in Indonesia in 1998, Jakarta Globe reported.

"They stated [during questioning] that they intended to wage jihad," Iqbal said. "This is clear that the protests were infiltrated. They wanted to trigger unrest and turn victims into martyrs."

On Wednesday, Yuwono said police had also recovered envelopes of money from some of those arrested.

"[The riots] were planned, organized. There are funders. Objects were prepared," he said, referring to firecrackers, arrowheads and Molotov cocktails found at the crime scenes.

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