20 Apr 2006

Calm in Solomon Islands this morning following an overnight curfew

10:03 am on 20 April 2006

The streets of Solomon Islands capital Honiara appear to be calmer this morning after police imposed an overnight curfew to quell rioting there.

Honiara has been rocked by rioting and looting over the last two days after protests broke out over the parliamentary election of Snyder Rini as prime minister.

Australia has deployed 110 more soldiers to the strife torn region, to join the 282 Australian Federal Police already there.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, says the police presence is now a lot more obvious on the streets than it was in the last two days.

"It's calmer now than it was 24 hours ago. There's no obvious signs of looters now. But I think Honiara residents are expecting pockets of resistance throughout the day, and we might have larger signs of resistance later on tonight."

Meanwhile a contingent of 55 New Zealand police officers and army personnel are heading to Solomon Islands this morning.