CHURCH DEACON REPORTED BEHEADED IN LATEST SOLOMONS KILLING

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (September 6, 2002 - SIBC/PINA Nius Online)---Solomon Islands Police in Honiara have received a report that a church deacon was beheaded on the rugged Weather Coast of Guadalcanal.

Police said the report came from a senior official of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Honiara.

Police are unable to go into the Weather Coast area because it is the stronghold of rebel Guadalcanal Liberation Front leader Harold Keke and his followers.

Details of the incident are still sketchy, police said. But reports are that the man, a Seventh Day Adventist deacon from Veramogho village in the Weather Coast area, had gone to a nearby village.

When he failed to return, his wife went to search for him. She found his head, which had been cut off and left without the body on the beach.

Police said at this stage the motive is not known but they are investigating.

The beheading report comes immediately after two shooting incidents in other parts of Guadalcanal in which six people were killed, five of them children.

It is also the third killing incident on the Weather Coast in the past three months.

The killings have come amid continuing law and order problems despite a peace agreement ending more than two years of ethnic conflict.

Ten people from another province, Malaita, were killed, reportedly during an attempt to capture Mr. Keke and claim a bounty for him. This was followed by the assassination of the Minister of Youth, Sports and Women's Affairs, Father Augustine Geve, who was the Member of Parliament for the Weather Coast area.

Mr. Keke has claimed responsibility for the massacre of the 10 Malaitans and the assassination of Father Geve.

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 

 

MORE VIOLENCE IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (August 6, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Solomon Islands police say they're looking into reports that a man has been beheaded in the troubled Weather Coast area of Guadalcanal.

Residents in the coastal town of Chohiri believe the attack may have been a revenge killing following the fatal shootings of at least four persons in the Guadalcanal Plains earlier this week.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent James Panichi reports.

"Solomon Islands Deputy Police Commissioner Wilfred Akao says it's too early to know what happened."

Mr. Akeo: "We have received that report, but we have not confirmed it. Our officers have not gone down to the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal."

Panichi says, "Reports from the nearby town of Veramogho indicate the man's wife found her husband's head on a beach.

"However, the woman was unable to find the body, and returned to Veramogho for help.

"The victim, aged in his forties, was a deacon in the local Seventh Day Adventist Church and was well-known in the community.

"The killing is believed to be linked to a shooting incident on Tuesday, in which at least four people were reportedly killed," Panichi says.

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

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