1. Archive

Police raid triggers violence in Indonesia

Police stormed the headquarters of Indonesia's democracy forces Saturday in a pre-dawn raid that sparked the worst anti-government violence in three decades.

Thousands rampaged through Jakarta, the capital, after police raided an opposition party's offices to crack down on supporters of democracy leader Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Protesters threw stones at police, broke windows and burned cars. Fire gutted a seven-story Agriculture Department building and damaged buildings used by state banks and the military.

President Suharto's autocratic grip on the country of 200-million people is fueling frustrations. He has rejected appeals for greater political freedom in Indonesia, where he has ruled for 30 years.

Though Suharto has presided over dramatic economic growth, many Indonesians remain extremely poor. Corruption is rampant, and resentment of the wealth of Suharto's children is widespread.

Megawati's popularity is a further challenge to his authority. The daughter of the late President Sukarno, who was deposed by Suharto in 1966, she has little political experience but has the backing of many of her father's admirers.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews

protest in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM _ Some 150,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated on a main Jerusalem street Saturday demanding it be closed to traffic on the Jewish Sabbath.

Police closed Bar Ilan Street _ for weeks the scene of skirmishes between police and religious and secular Jews _ and parts of several other main arteries for the permitted protest.

A police spokesman said 150,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews had turned out in response to rabbis' calls. He said a few people in the crowd had thrown stones, bottles and eggs. Two policemen were slightly injured by bottles.

One member of the left-wing Meretz Party, which is battling to keep the main artery open on the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday through sundown Saturday, was arrested when he was found among the religious crowd.

Two religious Jews were arrested for throwing stones.

Elsewhere . . .

MOGADISHU, Somalia _ Somalia's self-proclaimed president appeared in control Saturday of a vital airfield and nearby town despite claims from rival factions that he had been seriously wounded or even killed. Sources close to Mohamed Farah Aideed confirmed that he was hit by a stray bullet above the kidney on Thursday but was treated at a hospital and released.

ISTANBUL, Turkey _ Mediators struck a deal Saturday to end leftist prisoners' 69-day hunger strike for improved prison conditions, in which 11 inmates have died. Some 2,000 leftist prisoners took part in the hunger strike, and 4,000 Kurdish inmates recently joined the protest fast.