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Indonesia police shoot dead 11 petty criminals in Asian Games crackdown

AFP , Tuesday 17 Jul 2018
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Indonesian police have shot and killed 11 suspected small-time criminals and wounded dozens more in a crackdown before it hosts the Asian Games next month, authorities said Tuesday.

Some 52 suspects have been shot after resisting arrest in the capital Jakarta since the start of July, with 11 dying of their wounds, police said.

"They were endangering the public because they resisted arrest," said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.

More than 2,000 suspected criminals have been arrested in the past few weeks, he added.

Hundreds of extra officers are on patrol in Jakarta before it hosts the August 18-September 2 event along with Palembang city on Sumatra island.

Rights campaigners have criticised the crackdown and called for an independent probe.

"The Asian Games should not be a pretext to use excessive force," said Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch.

Security is a major concern at the Games which come a few months after fatal attacks in Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya reignited concerns about Islamist militants.

Indonesia's anti-terrorism squad has arrested some 200 terror suspects since the May attacks, according to the national police chief.

Three terror suspects were shot and killed by police during raids in Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta at the weekend.

Some 100,000 security staff will be deployed in Jakarta, Palembang and West Java province, which is hosting some events, during the Games.

More than 11,000 athletes from 45 countries are set to compete at the second-biggest multi-sport event behind the Olympics.

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