28 Jun 2006

French riot police quell disturbance in New Caledonia

7:43 am on 28 June 2006

French riot police have restored order outside the police station of Thio on New Caledonia's east coast after about 15 people went on a rampage in a bid to free a man held there.

Reports say the drunken group threw rocks at the station and burnt tyres after local police had arrested a man for suspected arson.

This prompted the deployment of 40 riot police from Noumea to Thio where nine people were arrested and taken to Thio for questioning.

Police says some members of the mobile police squad have stayed in Thio to maintain order.