Six people were confirmed dead at the Indonesia’s capital, after violence broke out on Wednesday when police in riot gear clashed with protesters opposed to President Joko Widodo’s re-election.
Dozens were arrested and parts of Jakarta were littered with debris and burned-out cars, as the violence triggered security advisories from the US and Australian embassies.
Authorities also restricted access to some social media in a bid to stop the spreading of rumours and fake news.
National police chief Tito Karnavian said six people had died, but denied authorities had fired live rounds on the crowd and called for calm.
“Some had gunshot wounds, some had blunt force wounds but we still need to clarify this,” he told reporters.
The violence came after Indonesia’s election commission on Tuesday confirmed Widodo, 57, had beaten retired military general Prabowo Subianto for the presidency in a poll held on April 17.
Subianto has said he would challenge the results in court but also warned his claims of widespread cheating could spark street protests.
That was borne out Wednesday as protesters set market stalls and cars on fire while hurling fireworks and rocks at authorities who ordered them to disperse, according to an AFP reporter on the scene.
Later, roads were blocked off in parts of the sprawling metropolis — with some shopping malls, businesses and schools also closed as small groups of protesters engaged in skirmishes with police.
More than 30,000 troops had been deployed in anticipation of unrest when the official poll figures were announced.