12 Mar 2008

Nauru government minister says media reports over police station fire were exaggerated

11:02 am on 12 March 2008

A Nauru government minister says media reports about last Friday's incident which saw the island's main police station severely damaged by fire have been seriously exaggerated.

Minister for foreign affairs and finance Kieran Keke has described some reports in international media as "over the top" and denied that a riot took place.

He describes reports that around 100 people descended on the police station and set it alight as untrue and misleading.

Dr Keke says there was a brief confrontation at the power station between members of a clan numbering around 30 people who dispersed shortly after being spoken to by police.

He says it was during this short exchange that the police station was set alight, several kilometres away.

The Minister says the government at this stage has no firm evidence to link the two incidents.

A full investigation is underway with Tuesday's arrival of four specialist arson and forensic experts from Australia.