12 Aug 2006

Fiji man seriously wounded by mob disputing choice of new Labasa high chief

8:04 am on 12 August 2006

A dispute over a key chiefly title in Fiji has led to a mob attack and a stabbing and left the victim fighting for his life in hospital.

The Fiji Sun reports that a drunken mob supporting the installation of Adi Salanieta Tuilomaloma as Tui Labasa (high chief of Labasa) attacked Rupeni Nasaukimoce who is now in serious condition in Labasa Hospital.

Two other men who were attacked were treated and discharged from hospital.

The newspaper says the mob, led by Fiji Sugar Corporation board member Ratu Savenaca,was last night detained at Labasa Police Station.

It quotes an eyewitness as saying Ratu Savenaca and his group of five, armed with knives, pinch bars and iron rods, stormed Naseakula village late on Thursday night and attacked and terrorised several families.

The eyewitness said the mob was armed with knives, pinch bars and iron rods and damaged an empty house and terrorized other families.

The villagers had earlier installed another claimant to the title, Ratu Epeli Katonivualiku, as the Tui Labasa.