30 Mar 2009

23 in custody in Fiji after village attacks others planning prayer crusade

11:44 am on 30 March 2009

Twenty three villagers of Vanuakula, in Rakiraki in Fiji are in police custody in connection with an attack on a church group, during which a 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped.

Villagers from Namara, Saivou and Na-korovou were attacked by people from Vanuakula while practising for a prayer crusade organised by the Assembly of God Church.

A police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri said so far no charges had been laid t.

Corporal Suliano Tevita, of the police media unit, told Fiji Live that the attackers did not like the idea of having the crusade and they resorted to violence.

He said people were stoned, bashed up and chased away while they were practicing and playing drums.

He said a 17-year-old female member of the church choir that was part of the practice session reported she was raped by two villagers during the attack.