17 Nov 2006

Riot death toll in Tonga reaches eight

8:29 pm on 17 November 2006

The death toll from the riots in Tonga is now eight, with two more bodies found in the supermarket belonging to the prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, which was one of the first buildings razed in the rampage.

Earlier six bodies, believed to be those of looters, were uncovered in the rubble of the Shoreline Power company.

It is believed that the six were trapped after an LPG tank exploded during the arson.

Meanwhile King George V has made a public announcement promising that the looters will be brought to justice.

He has expressed his grief for the businesses and families affected .

There has been no confirmation yet on the nature of international help being sought but our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the pro-democracy advocates have indicated they would prefer overseas police because the locals security forces are too closely linked to the King.