UNEASY CALM RETURNS TO NEW CALEDONIA

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NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 5, 2002 – Radio Australia)---An uneasy calm has returned to the New Caledonian capital, Nouméa, following days of violence.

Police say there has been only sporadic shooting in the St. Louis district since clashes on Tuesday in which a police officer received a gunshot wound.

Police have been ordered not to enter the district in the French Pacific territory, which has been the scene of sporadic ethnic unrest between local Kanaks and immigrant islanders from Wallis and Futuna over land use and other matters since December.

An investigation has been launched into the shooting of Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Marie Garrido, who was hit in the lower back by a bullet from a hunting rifle.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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