Riots for the third day in a row in the Solomon Islands

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Riots for the third day in a row in the Solomon Islands

Reuters

For the third day in a row, Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, witnessed riots that included burning buildings and looting of shops, which were confronted by police, while Australia began deploying a peacekeeping force in the region.

An AFP correspondent saw thousands of protesters, some armed with axes and knives, wreaking havoc in Chinatown, Point Cruz and the downtown business district.

The police confronted the demonstrators by firing warning shots in the air.

In Chinatown, setting fire to a large warehouse led to an explosion that spread terror among dozens of people who were in the vicinity of the place and fled in panic.

Since Wednesday, the small South Pacific country has witnessed violent anti-government demonstrations, punctuated on its first day by an attempt by protesters to storm the parliament building in protest against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavar’s refusal to comply with their demand to resign.

And when they failed to storm the parliament building, the protesters headed to Chinatown and riots broke out as they burned a police station and looted a number of shops, before the police intervened to disperse them with tear gas canisters.

And renewed violence on Thursday morning, which prompted Australia to announce its intention to send a military peacekeeping force to help restore security in its northern neighbor.

On the night of Thursday-Friday, part of the Australian peacekeeping mission arrived in Honiara in response to a request by the Prime Minister to his country’s neighbors for urgent help to stem the unrest that threatens to topple his government.

In turn, Papua New Guinea on Friday responded to Honiaras request, sending a peacekeeping mission of 34 soldiers to help stop the violence.

Source: AFP





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