31 Jan 2017

New Caledonia road open but closing at night

5:55 pm on 31 January 2017

French authorities in New Caledonia have reopened the road south of Noumea but will close it again tonight at 7pm local time to ensure public safety.

Police officers guard the road in Mont-Dore, to the south of New Caledonia's capital, Noumea. The road is frequently closed by armed protesters.

Photo: AFP

Unidentified gunmen fired shots at passing cars near St Louis late on Sunday, prompting police to close the road.

The High Commission said talks would be held with the customary authorities in St Louis today in a bid to end the shootings and attacks which have left 16 police officers injured in the past three months.

In the latest assault, police said combat ammunition was fired which managed to penetrate the armoured police vehicle.

There have been repeated roadblocks since late October, disrupting the lives of thousands of people in the south of the main island.

A ferry service has been revived to allow for urgent trips to Noumea.

A complaint has been lodged by a woman against the French state for failing to provide security after ambulance drivers refused to come to her rescue following a heart attack.

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