Indonesia announces fuel price hike despite anger

Indonesia on Friday announced its first hike in fuel prices since 2008 despite popular anger against the measure, as Southeast Asia's top economy seeks to reduce crippling subsidies.

Energy Minister Jero Wacik said that from Saturday the price of petrol is "at 6,500 rupiah ($0.65) a litre and diesel at 5,500 rupiah a litre". Both fuels previously cost 4,500 rupiah a litre.

The move to cut one of the few government handouts in Indonesia has already sparked anger, with thousands fighting running battles with police outside parliament Monday as lawmakers voted on measures paving the way for an increase.

In the hours leading up to the hike, long lines formed at petrol stations as car and motorbike owners sought to fill up with subsidised fuel before the price rocketed. Police were standing guard at many stations.

Police were out in force in cities across the country in anticipation of fresh protests.