12 Aug 2010

Man dies in Solomons after RAMSI soldiers fire on a crowd

7:13 pm on 12 August 2010

The police in Solomon Islands say a homicide investigation has been launched after a man died when Tongan soldiers from the Regional Assistance Mission fired shots early this morning.

The police say the incident was not related to the national election.

They say police and RAMSI military officers were responding to reports that two large groups were fighting in the hills above Honiara.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall says the groups had been drinking kwaso and other liquor and the police and military came under a barrage of rocks and were backing away when the incident occurred.

"A number of shots were fired by the Tongan military. As a consequence one of the people in the crowd received two bullet wounds and he subsequently died, a second person received a very slight injury."

Peter Marshall says they have been working with communities following the incident and the situation remains calm in Honiara.