Dozens of protesters fell to the ground with injuries. One person was run over by a jeep in which some of the protesters were trying to flee. The charge against the demonstrators was led by the chief of staff of the Jakarta military command, who grabbed a party flag from a young man and tore it apart. "You dogs, you are only troublemakers," he shouted. The army denied committing any brutality and said the soldiers had been attacked with stones.
The violence occurred after the demonstrators from the Indonesia Democratic Party held a march to protest against a military- backed dissidents' congress, which was held to oust their party's leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Ms Megawati is the daughter of Indonesia's former leader, president Sukarno, and has emerged as a possible challenger to President Suharto in the 1998 elections.