Update 4.01pm: Calm returns to Jalan TAR
Pictures: Courtesy of the Star
Police have arrested dozens of demonstrators and fired rounds after rounds of tear gas in an attempt to disperse a mass street protest against the Internal Security Act.
Thousands of police backed by riot squad officers, water cannons and helicopters cracked down at three rallying points in Kuala Lumpur - two major mosques, Masjid Negara and Masjid Jamek, and popular Sogo shopping complex.Some 200 people had been arrested as police attempted to disperse crowds at the rallying points and prevent them from marching towards Dataran Merdeka.Protesters at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman - 1 August, 2009
At least 50 rounds of tear gas were fired and water cannons were directed at a crowd of around 10,000 people who gathered at Sogo.
At least 25 people were arrested there before the huge group began marching down a main thoroughfare towards the royal palace, triggering the police offensive.
Organisers said they intended to present a 10-point memo to the king including demands for the abolition of the Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.
At the national mosque, at least 50 arrested, opposition legislator Siti Mariah Mahmud, from the Islamic PAS party, criticised the arrests of protesters as they attempted to enter the mosque.
"This is not reasonable. It's prayer time and this action is a breach of our religious freedom and duty," she said.
When afternoon prayers were completed, those who had managed to enter the mosque streamed out, joining a crowd of at least 5,000 which was marching towards Dataran Merdeka.
At the Sogo shopping complex further about 1.8km from Dataran Merdeka, at least 25 people arrested, triggering a cat-and-mouse game as protesters merged with shoppers before darting out and attempting to mass together. - Malaysiakini