FIJI BOMBING SUSPECTS HELD

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By Josephine Prasad

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 24, 1999 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Two men, believed to be ring leaders in a spate of terrorism acts that rocked the Fiji Islands capital of Suva last week, have been arrested, the Daily Post reports.

Late last night they were being questioned at the Central Police Station.

The arrest came following an early morning raid at a Suva home yesterday.

And as the threat over further terrorism acts mounts, police have decided to continue the blockade of Loftus Street fronting the American Embassy in Suva.

Assistant Commissioner Crime Moses Driver said the suspects could face up to 14 years' imprisonment if found guilty.

"If you are arrested with explosives the sentence is lighter but if you have used them, then you have to face the brunt of it," he said.

One of the two being questioned has been involved in similar cases before. Police Commissioner Isikia Savua said Fiji was lucky that bombers had selected targets in quiet areas so far.

"One day they will make a mistake and someone will die and it will be murder.

"It is murder because their actions to date have shown a willingness to use these weapons.

"I, on behalf of all the law-abiding citizens am asking the bombers to stop this madness now," he said.

Mr. Savua pleaded with the bombers not to let an innocent child be a victim of inconsiderate and selfish activity.

The first explosion punched a 30 by 20 inches hole in the wall of the Kasabia hardware store, in Suva, on Sunday night a week ago, causing damage worth $6,000.

The second explosion busted the fuel tanks of two buses and sent the seats flying.

Mr. Savua said investigations have led police to believe that explosives were placed in the fuel tanks.

Damage is yet to be estimated.

The third dynamite blast occurred at a 33,000 volt Fiji Electricity Authority Sub-Station at Wailekutu, causing minor damage to one of the transformers.

Title -- 2314 CRIME: Fiji bomb suspects held Date -- 24 August 1999 Byline -- Josephine Prasad Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 24/8/99 Copyright – DP Status -- Unabridged

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VTL PARTY MEMBER QUESTIONED OVER FIJI EXPLOSIONS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 23, 1999 – Fiji village News)---Police are questioning a member of the Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party over the explosions in and around Suva last week.

The man is a key suspect in the blasts at the HP Kasabia building in Toorak, the burning of two buses at Edinburgh Drive and the explosion at the Wailekutu FEA sub station.

It is understood his home was raided early this morning before he was arrested.

Meanwhile, the Police Commissioner, Isikia Savua, is expected to call a press conference in relation to the blasts later this afternoon.

For additional reports from Fiji Village News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Fiji Village News).

PARTY CONCERNED ABOUT EXPLOSIONS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 23, 1999 – Fiji Village News)---The National Federation Party has called on the people responsible for the recent explosions in and around Suva to stop immediately for the sake of democracy.

General Secretary Attar Singh says the politically motivated attacks, as claimed by the police, have to stop.

"Violence of any kind when it seems to be politically motivated is a threat to democracy," Singh said.

TWO QUESTIONED FOR EXPLOSIONS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 23, 1999 – Fiji Post/FijiLive)---Two people are being questioned by Police regarding the recent spate of explosion in Suva.

Commissioner of Police, Isikia Savua, has indicated that his officers are only interviewing people and have not made any arrests.

On the type of explosives used, Savua says he will wait for Police arms and explosives expert Inspector Peter Blake to complete his investigations and compare it with the reports of the Military and Director of Mines before making any comments.

Speaking to journalists in Suva today, Savua described the explosions as an act of terrorism.

"It is terrorism. Terrorism merely is to create fear in the public, but so far the people of Fiji are just going to continue with their lives uninterrupted.

"My job is to get these people as soon as we possibly can and to teach them a lesson, and would be bombers in the future to be careful that we in Fiji will not tolerate their actions," he said.

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