7 Aug 2011

Four die in firefight around Mare airport in New Caledonia

5:49 pm on 7 August 2011

Four people have been shot dead and 23 injured in clashes over the price of air tickets in New Caledonia.

The High Commissioner, Albert Dupuy, says two platoons were sent to the island of Mare, where the violence erupted between the protestors and residents trying to get them to leave.

Mr Dupuy says several of the injured were evacuated by helicopter to Noumea while others were taken to the clinic on the neighbouring island of Lifou.

Airports on Lifou, the Isle of Pines and Mare have been blockaded since late July in protest over fare increases by the domestic carrier Air Caledonie.