INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO FATAL SOLOMON ISLANDS POLICE SHOOTOUT

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (January 5, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Solomon Islands police have begun an independent enquiry into a shootout between police and a group of armed men last week.

One man died and a police constable was reportedly wounded in the incident in Gela, Bungana Island, Central Province, on New Year's Eve.

Police Commissioner Frank Short last week ordered the inquiry, which is standard procedure when a person is fatally injured during a police operation.

Police went to Bungana Island after they were tipped off about the group of armed men and a power boat reportedly stolen from West Guadalcanal.

A separate investigation is being carried out into the activities of the men arrested on the island during the shoot out.

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