19 Apr 2006

Further incidents in Honiara prompt despatch of Australian troops to help police

10:43 am on 19 April 2006

Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, says there have been further incidents this morning after yesterday's rioting in Hioniara after the election of former deputy prime minister, Snyder Rini, as the country's new prime minister

"In the early hours of this morning a mob turned their attention to the Pacific Casino Hotel which was occupied by up to 105 guests. We were successful in holding the line there. The building was set on fire but it was extinguished by the Fire service. The police were able to hold the mob back from the buildin, to evacuate the 105 occupants, and they have been conveyed to a safer location."

Mr Castles says he has made a request to Australian authorities for assistance and up to 120 soldiers will be flown to Solomon Islands today.

He also says more police may be requested from Australia and other RAMSI partners to help local forces restore law and order.