Police fire tear gas to disperse mobs

By Netani Rika in Honiara

POLICE have brought angry mobs under control using tear gas in Solomon Islands’ capital, Honiara. 

Tear gas was fired into a mob of youths at the Fijian Quarter as they tried to cross into China Town to attack Chinese shops. 

Earlier in the day police on the bridge hurled stones back into an attacking mob of stick-wielding, stone-throwing young men. 

Reinforced by locals, the police protected China Town, scene of looting and burning in 2006, until riot units arrived.

By this time young people had placed burning logs across the road leading towards Mataniko River. 

Riot police protected themselves with shields as they removed logs and then fired tear gas into the stone throwing mob. 

At least one arrest was made. 

At Kukum on the Prince Philip Highway, looters attacked the Pacific Casino Hotel and ransacked a room before being turned back by police. 

Roadblocks at Panatina and Kukum kept people out of the trading area until brought the situation under control.

About 700 police officers supported by the Solomon Islands Correction Service have maintained a high level of security and banned sales of alcohol. 

The day started off with the election of Mannaseh Sogovare as prime minister.


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