Protesters Storm Aussie Consulate
Sep. 13, 1999
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ About 400 protesters stormed the Australian consulate in Indonesia's second-largest city today, angered by that country's leading role in a proposed peacekeeping force for East Timor, witnesses said.
The consulate's staff in Surabaya had already abandoned the building when the mob entered and smashed computers and other equipment. A squad of 50 police were present but did little to stop the attack.
Protest organizers said their group was opposed to what they said was ``unwarranted Australian meddling in Indonesian and East Timorese affairs.''
Earlier, the same group protested outside the city's U.S. consulate and burned a U.S. flag along with those of Australia, New Zealand and the United Nations.
Police stopped them from entering the U.S. mission.
In the capital, Jakarta, 50 members of a government-backed youth group marched on the Australian Embassy. Some carried signs that read: ``War _ Indonesia vs. Australia.''
About 80 riot police blocked the demonstrators from entering the embassy compound.