6 Mar 2007

Vanuatu police to make more arrests after Vila clashes

3:01 pm on 6 March 2007

Vanuatu police say they expect to make further arrests later today in connection with the violent clashes in Port Vila.

The clashes between people of Tanna and Ambrym islands at the Blacksands settlement on the fringe of the capital left two men dead, and several people seriously injured.

A two-week state of emergency has been declared, seeing 160 police and paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force members on patrol, with some restrictions on movement on and around the island, Efate.

The Police spokesman Willie Ben Kalo says the 140 Tannese suspects who were arrested yesterday are currently being questioned at the VMF compound.

He says that police will wait until those detainees have given statements before dealing with Ambrym suspects...

"Lots of the areas have indicated they'll surrender themselves to police. But we still have the 140 in to deal with to clear up with their investigation process then we'll get further arrests after we've finished with the 140 by this afternoon."

Willie Ben Kalo says the Blacksands area is now calm and under the control of the VMF.