MURDER CHARGES OVER KILLING OF KANAK YOUTH IN NOUMÉA

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NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Police in New Caledonia have arrested three suspects whom they believe were involved in the fatal shooting of a Kanak youth last week.

The young man died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.

The suspects, who have not been named, claim the shooting was an accident.

One of the three has been charged with homicide and remanded in custody for trial.

A local radio station said the shooting is not thought to be related to the recent ethnic unrest between indigenous Kanaks and Wallisian settlers in the Nouméa suburb of St Louis.

But the station says it does raise questions about the number of weapons being carried by local residents.

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

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