9 May 2006

Solomon Islands police reiterate they had no ability to counter mob during last month's riot

6:06 pm on 9 May 2006

Solomon Islands police have again defended their response to last month's Honiara riots, saying they were vastly outnumbered outside the parliament by a stonethrowing mob.

The acting deputy commissioner, Johnson Siapu, says the attackers injured police personnel with rocks, burnt police vehicles and took violent steps to prevent the then prime minister, Snyder Rini, and his escort from leaving parliament house before tear gas was deployed.

He says police tried to control the crowd for an hour and a half before tear gas was used.

Mr Siapu also says the attacks in Chinatown began before the tear gas was used.