SOLOMON ISLANDS POLICE RELEASE MILITANT GROUP SUSPECT

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 28, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Police in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, have released a man suspected of being a member of a militant group on the main island of Guadalcanal.

Police confirm the man was arrested and questioned in relation to reports about a militant group formed by young people in Guadalcanal.

Police Commissioner Frank Short went on Solomons National Radio last week, to quell public disquiet following reports of the group threatening and attacking people and stoning houses and cars in North West Guadalcanal.

Commissioner Short warned against people trying to incite ethnic tension and said police would catch those responsible.

Reports of the militant group first surfaced after Guadalcanal leaders made a demand on the government in early December for compensation for Honiara, being located in the province, among other demands.

Police have been closely monitoring the situation, which remains tense despite a meeting of the leaders of Solomon Islands nine provinces last weekend to discuss Guadalcanal's grievances.

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