JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Riot police used tear gas, warning shots and water cannons to disperse hundreds of anti-U.S. Muslim protesters outside Parliament on Monday.
It was the most violent in a series of almost daily demonstrations against the U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan. It came a day after the president of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, said military force should not be used to fight terrorism.
Witnesses said officers hit some demonstrators with batons after ordering about 500 members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front to end a rally outside the legislature. Some protesters threw stones in retaliation.
Privately owned Metro TV reported that one of its cameramen was beaten by police. Witnesses said officers also assaulted at least two news photographers. Police smashed cars and motorbikes belonging to demonstrators, along with their public address equipment.
Police said 10 people had been injured and 20 arrested.
"I apologize for the excesses of our men," said Jakarta police spokesman Col. Anton Bachrul Alam.
Monday was a public holiday in Indonesia and it is illegal to hold street protests here on holidays.
Some in the crowd carried sticks or held up posters of President Bush that read: "Wanted by the Islamic people for murder."
Hundreds of police guarded the legislature's compound, which was protected by razor wire. During the weekend, police arrested 27 members of the same group on charges of possessing knives and swords.
Later Monday, about 150 officers in riot gear converged on the Jakarta office of the Islamic front, which has called for the expulsion of Westerners.
Senior police said they wanted to hold talks with front leaders to ensure violence did not occur again. About 50 front members, armed with sticks, stood guard at the building in what appeared be a standoff.
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