Anti-riot policemen hold rifles during security preparations ahead of Friday's planned protest by hardline Muslim groups in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Iqro Rinald
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Indonesian police are planning a massive show of force in the capital Jakarta Friday to contain a much-hyped protest by Muslim hardliners against the city's popular governor that threatens to ignite religious and racial flashpoints.National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said 16,000 police will be deployed along with 2,000 soldiers and 2,000 of Jakarta's public order officers for the protest that is expected to begin in the early afternoon following Friday prayers.Indonesians are already fighting on social media over the blasphemy claim and the protest, which organizers optimistically boast will attract half a million people to Jakarta's traffic clogged streets. The governor has apologized for the comment and been questioned by police.Munarman, who like many Indonesians uses one name, denied the protest would be racially charged or that it aimed to influence the outcome of Jakarta's election in February.
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