HIGH TENSION IN SOLOMON ISLANDS CAPITAL OF HONIARA

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 10, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The situation in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara is tense following rumors that members of the Guadalcanal Liberation Army were planning to attack the city.

Radio Australia's George Atkin reports.

"Although there was a standoff between the militants and a number of Malaitans at Kakabona Village, a kilometer west of Honiara, there was no attack,"

"The militants did wound a police officer who they shot as he was trying to stop them and the Malaita Group from shooting each other."

"Malaita people who gathered at Town Ground Soccer Field to hear the government's response to their demands behaved very well indeed. They listened to their leaders who advised them not to retaliate and not to damage properties in Honiara."

"Meanwhile, banks, shops and a number of government offices closed their doors fearing looters. The National Parliament too has remained closed since yesterday."

Cabinet met to discuss the ethnic tension between the Malaita and Guadalcanal people and has assured Malaitans that it would deal with the ethnic tension and related problems."

George Atkin for Radio Australia in Honiara.

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