22 Aug 2011

40 people used guns in Mare violence in New Caledonia, say investigators

1:38 pm on 22 August 2011

The authorities in New Caledonia say their investigation into the violence on Mare two weeks ago has shown that about 40 people possessed and used weapons during the clashes near the airport.

Four people were shot dead and more than 20 others were wounded.

The public prosecutor has told a news conference that a 17th person has been arrested in Noumea.

16 people were arrested on Mare on Friday and taken to Noumea, with more arrests expected this week .

The suspects are aged between 20 and 62.

More than 140 police and soldiers were sent to Mare to restore calm.

The fight was between a group blockading the airport and another trying to dislodge it.