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By Thomas Kilala

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 25, 2001 -- The National)--A bomb disposal expert is expected to arrive in Bougainville next week from Port Moresby after locals in Manetai village, Wakunai in Central Bougainville found a grenade in a garden.

The explosive, believed to be a World War II hand grenade, was discovered by the locals while working in their gardens near Manetai village and reported to the Peace Monitoring Group in the area.

The PMG confirmed the nature of the explosive and approached the PNG Defence Force contingent on the island to remove it.

The PNG Defence Force contingent commander in Bougainville, Lt. Colonel Ernest Aki, told The National that he has requested that an expert from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit of the Defense Force in Port Moresby be sent to Manetai to remove the weapon.

Meanwhile, soldiers and ex-combatants who were involved in a fight last weekend in Kokopau made peace through a small compensation ceremony by both sides on Tuesday at Kokopau, across the Buka Passage.

The leaders of both sides urged their men to respect each other, forget the past (war) and support their political leaders in their efforts for a peaceful settlement on Bougainville.

Provincial Police Commander Joseph Bemu said it was an incident and police would have charged those involved in the fight from both sides, but added that he was happy that the leaders decided to settle the matter out of court.

Local chiefs in the Kokopau area also appealed to both sides to cooperate and accept one another as brothers and not as enemies for the benefit of peace and the people in Bougainville.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

Provided by Vikki John VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au" target="_blank">(VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au

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