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By Luisa Tora

Wansolwara Online (USP)

SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 19, 2001 – Wansolwara Online/Pasifik Nius)---Fiji troops serving in the Middle East have made no changes to their operational activities since last week's terrorist attacks on United States cities.

Military spokesperson Captain Ned Taito confirmed this to Wansolwara Online while responding to questions about the status of the 1st Battalion, Fiji Infantry Regiment, serving with the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon, following the terrorist attacks.

Captain Taito said that the Rosh Hanikka border-crossing point (between Israel and Lebanon) used only by UNIFIL personnel and manned by Fiji was closed for four days.

He said the Fiji Foxtrot Company serving in East Timor had also not been affected by the tightened security worldwide following the terrorist attacks. These troops are part of New Zealand's Infantry Battalion in Kovalima District.

In related news, the funeral service for the late Staff Sergeant Maika Rakabu will be held at the Raralevu church in Tailevu today. Rakabu died following a road accident in East Timor.

He was the sergeant-in-charge of the Transport Section at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife and their six children.

The other soldier injured in the accident, Patrol Sergeant Walusio Kali, was airlifted to Brisbane for further treatment.

Meanwhile, security at Nadi International Airport and Nausori Airport has been "beefed up" according to police sources.

Deputy Divisional Police Commander, Western, Emosi Lagilagi would not say how much manpower was actually involved. But he did say that baggage checks were now being conducted manually and by machine.

He also confirmed that some luggage would need to be checked up to five hours ahead of the flight schedule.

"This we will keep changing and we also have sniffer dogs at Namaka," DDPC Lagilagi said.

The airport has not been sealed off as it was during last year's political crisis. But, DDPC Lagilagi says, "The inside area is being confined and there is manpower outside too." There is no time limit to this heightened security situation.

Police public relations officer, Corporal Anil Ram, says security at Nausori Airport had also been increased.

DDPC Lagilagi asked people to bear with them, as there would be inevitable delays following security changes. He said ensuring the public's safety was the most important thing.

Title -- 3433 MILITARY: Terrorist attacks force no changes for Fiji military Date -- 19 September 2001 Byline -- Luisa Tora Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Wansolwara Online, 19/9/01 Copyright -- USP Journalism Status -- Unabridged

USP Pacific Journalism Online: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/  USP Journalism on the Fiji crisis (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/  USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ): http://www.scoop.co.nz/international.htm  Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook 

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