SOLOMONS CONFIRM POLICE DEATHS IN KEKE HUNT

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 30) - Solomon Islands
police have confirmed that two special constables were shot dead on Monday by
supporters of the rebel leader Harold Keke on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal.

Police say the two constables died when their police team was
ambushed by Keke supporters on a beach.

Police numbers on the Coast have been increased in the past week
after reports that Keke had been responsible for the deaths of 21 people over
the past month.

But police spokesman Charles Lemoa says they have not been able
to get access to where the bodies are said to be buried in the region still
controlled by Keke.

"Keke and his followers are doing a sort of guerrilla
tactic of fighting so the police don't want to get in there involved and start
shooting and killing people."

Meanwhile, an independent member of parliament has called for
the immediate withdrawal of a police team from the Weather Coast.

Y Sato says sending more police will only provoke Keke and says
the government must take a different approach.

May 1, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

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