JAKARTA, Indonesia — More than 10,000 Muslims marched Sunday in Indonesia to support pro-democracy and reform movements in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, calling for the immediate resignation of Libya's leader and protection of civilians.
Men, women and children attending the rally in the capital of the world's most populous Muslim nation waved Indonesian flags and shouted "Allah akbar," Arabic for "God is great."
Banners and placards carried by marchers read: "Revolution for freedom," ''No to Dictator Ghadafi" or criticized the international air strikes that have checked Libya's military and helped rebels gain control of key towns.
Participants in the rally through downtown Jakarta organized by the Islamic-based Justice and Prosperity Party called for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to resign and for civilians to be protected.
Justice and Prosperity Party leader Hidayat Nur Wahid told the crowd the Gadhafi dictatorship must be ousted to stop a humanitarian tragedy.
"Ghadafi should accept the reality that people don't want him anymore as their leader," Wahid said. "We demand that the international air strikes over Libya be stopped for the sake of innocent civilians' safety."
The crowd also denounced Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad, a militant group that frequently attacks Israel, confirmed two members were killed in a Sunday airstrike there.3 comments on this story
Weeks of stepped-up rocket and mortar attacks have fed concerns of another large-scale Israeli military operation against Gaza militants.
The crowd in Jakarta swelled to an estimated 10,000 people and the rally was mostly peaceful, said police officer Riza Rusmawan from the traffic management center. Associated Press reporters at the scene said the crowd size was much higher.
Indonesia's own "people power" revolt toppled long-ruling dictator and Washington ally Gen. Suharto in 1998.
The vast majority of Muslims in the nation of 237 million practice moderate Islam.