19 Jun 2002

Solomons police confirm 11 missing after a shooting incident on the Weather Coast

4:01 pm on 19 June 2002

Solomon Islands police have confirmed that 11 people are missing after a shooting incident off the Weather Coast in Guadalcanal early last week.

The Police Commissioner, Morton Sireheti, could not yet confirm that the 11 people had been killed in the incident.

Don Wiseman has more.

"A police investigation has been underway for a week after rumours began circulating that a group which had travelled by boat from Honiara to the Weather Coast had been attacked."

The Weather Coast is where an armed rebel group called the Guadalcanal Liberation Front is based.

There have been recent attempts by the Government to have the Liberation Front leader, Harold Keke, reconcile with the Malaitan Eagle Force, ahead of a hoped for surrender of weapons.

Morton Sireheti says he cannot yet say what organisation the Honiara group belonged to.

Mr Sireheti has called on Solomon Islanders to remain calm and allow police to investigate the incident.

The Commissioner says they are looking for information on all those involved at every stage of the incident, from its planning to its tragic conclusion.

The Commissioner has also confirmed that one of the people involved was a member of the Police Field Force, but had not reported for duty for over six months.

Mr Sireheti has meanwhile directed his staff to intensify Operation PIsPOL, the latest attempt to recover illegal arms and stolen property in the community. ...