15 Dec 2006

Security woes leads to Tonga's state of emergency extension

4:28 pm on 15 December 2006

Ongoing concerns about security prompted the Tongan government to this week extend a state of emergency.

The emergency was point in place following the destructive riot in Nuku'Alofa on the 16th of November which claimed seven lives.

There have been in excess of seven hundred arrests and more than a hundred people are in custody since what has become known as 16/11.

But Tonga's Attorney General, Alisi Taumoepeau, says continuing security fears led to the emergency being extended until the middle of January.

She says it could then be extended further.

"We have extended it one month and the security risks will be assessed towards the end of that period and if the risks are non existent then, then there will not be an [a further] extension."