SOLOMON POLICE: SHOOTING AT PM’S HOUSE OVER PAY

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 17) - Solomon Islands acting police commissioner John Homelo says special constables from Marau involved in a shooting incident at the Prime Minister’s house on Friday wanted the same payments that had been made to their colleagues a week earlier.

Homelo says police guarded Sir Allen Kemakeza’s house through the weekend, but he is confident there is now no threat to the Prime Minister.

The Marau special constables had just returned from the Weather Coast where they had been part of the team hunting rebel leader Harold Keke.

The special constable who fired the shots has been arrested, several weapons and two vehicles seized, while Homelo has issued a warning to the group’s leaders that action will be taken against them if there are further incidents.

Last week dozens of special constables forced the Government to pay unbudgeted allowances.

Homelo says the protesting Marau special constables wanted their outstanding wages to be paid as well.

"So most of the special constables has been paid last week, the first lot and the second lot even police officers and then only Marau and other regional special constables likely this week either today or tomorrow."

December 17, 2002

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

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