TONGA FIRE VICTIM IDENTIFIED, RIOT PROBE CONTINUES

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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 29) – Police have identified the remains of one of the seven people who are known to have died in the fire that gutted the Shoreline Building set alight by arsonists during the riots in Tonga on November 16.

Tonga Police Commander Sinilau Kolokihakaufisi said today that the remains were those of Talaiasi Malamala, a married man from the village of Tofoa, Nuku'alofa.

Talaiasi was reported missing by his family on November 16.

Sinilau regarded the first identification as a break through in the ongoing investigation. He said that other people had been reported missing on November 16, but he did not want to give any figures while they were still searching the crime scenes and while the identification of the dead was ongoing.

Sinilau said the identification process was being carried out by a team of forensic experts from Australia at a temporary morgue that had been set up at the Police Station.

Meanwhile, today the police were still holding in custody 109 suspects for questioning.

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