18 Aug 2005

Government property damaged in two separate incidents in Tonga - strikers deny involvement.

7:26 pm on 18 August 2005

Government property has been damaged in Tonga in two separate incidents overnight.

Four government vehicles were set on fire outside the tax and customs department.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze but police say they've made no arrests in connection with the incident.

Striking public servants have said they were not involved in the torchings.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says there was also another incident late last night.

"Nine o'clock last night the head office of the Ministry of Education was also stoned and windows were smashed, again there is no arrest so far and the interim committee for the civil servants have denied any connection with these two events."

The two incidents follow the arrest of 15 students for allegedly vandalising equipment at their school in protest at displinary action against staff for strike related matters.