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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (July 11, 2000 - SIBC/PINA Nius Online)---Assistant Commissioner of Police Wilfred Akao said that members of the joint Police Field Force/Malaita Eagle Force found a Catholic priest at Marau in possession of several home made guns.

But Mr. Akao denied earlier reports that Father Augustine Deve was abducted by the Malaita Eagle Force.

Mr. Akao said Father Deve's house was among several houses that members of the joint operation had searched.

He said during the search they found several home made guns in Father Deve's house and these were confiscated.

Mr. Akao explained that with the finding they are suspicious that Father Deve may have been assisting members of the Isatabu Freedom Movement in the Marau area.

Mr. Akao said Father Deve was questioned and released.

When asked about this, Catholic Archbishop Adrian Smith said he was not commenting on it.

For additional reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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