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Six men wielding machetes confront police

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 3, 2008) – Solomon Islands police and the Regional Assistance Mission have stepped up their presence on the remote Weather Coast of Guadalcanal in the wake of a machete attack on a New Zealand police officer yesterday

Constable Chris Renata is recovering in Honiara hospital after he was confronted by six men wielding machetes during a routine visit to a medical post.

The deputy special co-ordinator of RAMSI, Dr Jonathan Austin, says the attackers appear to be part of a hard core group still being sought over crimes committed prior to the arrival of RAMSI five years ago.

Dr Austin says a bigger effort is now being made to arrest them.

"And we have early this morning sent down a large team. The investigation will be led by Solomon Islands police, some of whom are from that area, know the language, know the villages, and they will be supported by a group of RAMSI police and also over 20 RAMSI military who have been deployed down there for security reasons."

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