11 Sep 2009

Seven more arrests following New Caledonia's August unrest

3:20 pm on 11 September 2009

French police have arrested another seven young people in New Caledonia as investigations continue into last month's riots in the Noumea area.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper reports that about a hundred soldiers joined police in securing the area around St Louis where the unrest had closed the main road and two police were hurt during the skirmishes with mainly young people.

The paper says special forces with metal detectors scoured the area for ammunition as a policeman had been shot at when the protesters were being confronted.

The latest arrests mean that a total of 23 people have been taken into custody over the unrest which came amid a protest by the USTKE union seeking the release of its jailed leader.

Meanwhile, nine young people have been sentenced in the youth court for their role in the stand-off.

They have been fined and ordered to attend a week-long civics course.