Tear gas has been used to repel protesters during a second day of demonstrations in Jakarta.
Tear gas has been used to repel protesters during a second day of demonstrations in Jakarta as fallout continues over revelations Australian spies tapped the phone of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Hundreds of members from various hardline Islamic groups clashed with police in front of the Australian embassy on Friday, some calling for blood, in response to the spying scandal which has caused relations between Canberra and Jakarta to sink to their lowest level since the East Timor crisis in 1999.
Police armed with riot shields used canes to beat back the protesters who stormed towards the Australian compound, amid violent scenes and calls for the Australian ambassador to be expelled from Indonesia.
At one point, tear gas was used to repel the protesters, from the Islamic Defenders Front, who converged on the embassy in their hundreds after Friday prayers.
An Australian flag and pictures of Prime Minister Tony Abbott were set alight.
The embassy was also pelted with rocks and eggs, and a mock coffin bearing a photo of Mr Abbott was left on the road in front of the compound.
Earlier, a senior member from the extremist organisation Hizbut Tahrir, speaking through a PA system erected on a truck in front of the embassy, told supporters it was regrettable that the bombing of the building in 2004 was not more successful.
“When a bomb exploded here, in front of the embassy, it was only a problem because it didn’t get inside,” he said.
Members of the Islamic Defenders Front shouted: “Burn, burn, Australia, burn Australia from now on.”
There were also calls for Australians to be swept out of Indonesia, with one of the group telling supporters Australians were “just trash” and the “accomplice of Christians and Jews”.
“Hopefully after we leave from here this place will be on fire,” he said.
The protesters later dispersed at 3.30pm (1930 AEDT) but threatened to return at a later date.
More than 1600 police had been deployed near the Australian and US embassies and several other potential targets in the capital after violent demonstrations on Thursday.
The Australian government continues to warn citizens of the possibility of further unrest in the coming days as anger continues to swell over claims Australia tapped President Yudhoyono’s phone in 2009.
Earlier in the day, protesters from the quasi-militia group, the Komando Pejuang Merah Putih (Red and White Fighter Commandos), also demonstrated in front of the embassy and called for war with Australia.
“Our nation has been insulted by Australia. Let’s attack them,” one of the group shouted outside the embassy on Friday afternoon.
Indonesia has suspended all co-operation with Australia in terms of strategic partnerships, including in combating people smuggling, intelligence gathering and anti-terrorism efforts.
Mr Abbott, who has promised a swift and courteous response to President Yudhoyono’s call for an apology, met with the national security committee of cabinet on Thursday night and was declining to comment on Friday.
Indonesia’s former intelligence chief has said the diplomatic row could be resolved with an apology.
“Just apologise and … forgive and forget,” Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono told the ABC on Friday.
Gita Wirjawan, Indonesia’s trade minister, has also warned his country may suspend talks on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Australia.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison declined to comment on the state of border protection activities with Indonesia but said Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders was continuing.
“(It) is designed to ensure the operation stands or falls on no single measure,” he said.
“We have the ability to work through our chain of measures to ensure that whatever circumstances we face … we are able to adapt and ensure the people smugglers will be frustrated.”
The issues between Mr Abbott and President Yudhoyono were being addressed by them personally and he would not comment further, he said.
The developments came as former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer said Mr Abbott should “extend a friendly hand to President Yudhoyono”, but not confirm the bugging occurred or say sorry.
“If Tony Abbott were to say `gee I’m sorry about that’, that would reveal that in fact, the allegation was true,” he told Sky News.