24 Jan 2004

Army destroys confiscated firearms in New Caledonia

9:20 am on 24 January 2004

The French army has destroyed up to three hundred firearms confiscated by security forces in New Caledonia.

The newspaper Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes reports the army destroyed hunting guns, pistols and ammunition, some of which once belonged to people from the Noumea suburb of Saint Louis.

Saint Louis has been the scene of lethal clashes between New Caledonia's indigenous Kanak people and settlers from Wallis and Futuna.

It's a move which is hoped will help to defuse tension in the area, where police last year seized over a dozen weapons in a raid.

The latest statistics show one in four people in New Caledonia legally owns a gun.