10 Dec 2014

Police hunt political shooters in Solomons

2:38 pm on 10 December 2014

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast is calling for calm as police investigate the shooting of a boat carrying parliamentarians to an island retreat ahead of the prime ministerial elections on Tuesday.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports police have confirmed the use of firearms and petrol bombs and say it has raised questions among members of the public regarding the ongoing consultations on whether to rearm the local police.

Mr Prendergast has called on Solomon Islanders to put their trust in the force, saying the highest priority is being given to the case.

Firearms have been banned in Solomon Islands after an ethnic crisis ended in 2003 with the arrival of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

The mission's first action was to confiscate and destroy firearms used by militant groups but an unknown number of illegal firearms is still in the community.

Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands

Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands Photo: RNZI / Annell Husband