A police officer wearing civilian clothing, left, escorts supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to a police bus at Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, on Monday. Police say they have prevented more than 1,200 Prabowo supporters from leaving East Java to join a planned mass protest in Jakarta on Wednesday. (Antara Photo/Didik Suhartono)

East Java Police Catch Jakarta-Bound Prabowo Supporters Transporting Molotov Cocktails


MAY 20, 2019

Jakarta. Police in East Java have found four Molotov cocktails hidden inside a minibus used by supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan was quoted in a report by CNN Indonesia as saying that the supporters were traveling to Jakarta when they were stopped and the vehicle searched.

Police in all provinces have been tightening security ahead of the expected announcement on Wednesday of the official results of last month's simultaneous presidential and legislative elections.

East Java Police spokesman Chief Comr. Frans Barung Mangera meanwhile told the Jakarta Globe on Monday that more than 1,200 Prabowo supporters traveling by train, bus and private car to Jakarta from East Java were stopped during a three-day operation that started on Saturday.

The supporters were all planning to join a mass rally outside the offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Central Jakarta on Wednesday

The scheduled announcement of the results of the April 17 elections has been overshadowed by terror threats and the possibility of civil unrest by Prabowo supporters.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said officers in all provinces have been active in advising the public on safety, while also stepping up searches for weapons or other dangerous items amid reports of a terrorist plot to use the planned mass rally in Jakarta as cover to stage an attack.

Police have arrested several suspected terrorists who had been planning to detonate bombs among the crowd likely to gather outside the KPU offices.

The Prabowo camp insists that the elections have been tainted by massive fraud and cheating by the incumbent.

Dedi said police are expecting supporters of the former Army general from Aceh, Riau, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Lampung and East Kalimantan to travel to Jakarta, but that the numbers may not be significant.

However, he added that the situation would remain unpredictable until Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Telly Nathalia

Writing by Nur Yasmin