200 People Involved In Fight In Solomon Islands

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Groups in West Honiara unhappy with unequal distribution of assistance

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 22, 2014) – The Solomon Islands police say they have arrested five people after four houses were torched during a fight involving 200 people in Honiara last night.

The police say the fight was at Karaina settlement in the White River area in West Honiara, between people of Reef Islands and Pileni Island of Temotu Province.

A police spokesperson, Seink Mahuta, says the fighting erupted after a community leader handed out assistance to the settlement, but it was not distributed evenly throughout the group.

Mr Mahuta says the police are still at the scene, and are mediating between the two groups to come to a solution.

"Police are on top of this issue, the situation has been calmed down. We state that no further incidents have happened again since the police have been sitting down all through the day with both parties. And they have been talking here and there to find a solution."

Seink Mahuta says the police are working with community elders to find out who else is responsible.

Eyewitnesses say alcohol played a major part in the fight, which involved people hurling stones at each other.

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