14 Feb 2007

Tonga Defence Services warn lethal force will be used if necessary to apprehend armed criminals

8:49 am on 14 February 2007

The Tonga Defence Services, the TDS, is issuing a warning that it will use lethal force to apprehend anyone who is using weapons such as axes, knives and firearms to threaten the safety of the public.

A statement from the TDS expressed its concern over the use of weapons in crimes in the Nuku'alofa area and is reminding people that the state of emergency is still operating.

The Matangi Tonga website reports that in one incident last week, a group of men got into an argument at Fanga then a man left and returned with friends armed with bush knives to attack the others.

In another, a man used a pistol to threaten some people but he was arrested and the gun located later that day.

The Tonga Defence Services says it's concerned over what appear to be escalating criminal activities and is warning that people using weapons should not resist arrest or lethal force will be used to neutralise any threat to the safety of the public.

Tonga's state of emergency is set to expire tomorrow.