26 Jul 2003

Teargas used to control anti-Chirac protestors in New Caledonia

9:29 am on 26 July 2003

Police fired teargas to break up militant pro-independence protesters in New Caledonia on the third day of French President Jacques Chirac's tour of the territory.

Angry demonstrators shouted at the president, calling him a murderer.

Several hundred members of the Caledonian Union, a militant pro-independence faction of the Kanak group FLNKS and trade unionists had gathered near the ceremony throughout the morning and lit bonfires.

Teargas cannisters were fired by police to disperse the crowd but winds blew the gas back towards the official ceremony.