23 Nov 2006

Bougainville police say wanted conman may be seeking medical treatment

7:29 pm on 23 November 2006

The acting assistant commissioner of the Bougainville police says he has unconfirmed reports that the wanted conman Noah Musingku is injured and making his way towards Buka to seek medical attention.

Mr Musingku was shot and wounded in a gunfight near Tonu in the early hours of yesterday after the Bougainville Freedom Fighters attacked his base.

Paul Kamuai says the five former Fijian soldiers, who were hired last year to train his bodyguards, are also on the run with him.

Mr Kamuai says he is concerned that the latest violence could threaten Bougainville's fragile peace process but says they are not actively pursuing the Bougainville Freedom Fighters.

"We can say that it is illegal but then the cause for their fight for freedom, there may be some reason for them to stand up and fight against what has happened on Bougainville with the road blocks and with the increase of the law and order, with the firearms especially."

The acting assistant commissioner of the Bougainville police, Paul Kamuai.