Arrests in New Caledonia over attacks on motorists

French police officers in New Caledonia. Picture: RNZ

NOUMEA, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Six people have been arrested in New Caledonia over clashes north of Noumea last week.

The men aged up to 30 are suspected of being behind the stoning of vehicles along the coastal road near Paita which was briefly closed.

Reports say five motorists were injured during the attacks which were carried out the day after the independence referendum when the French prime minister was on a brief visit.

Local media report that among them is a teenager who allegedly fired a weapon at the police.

They say although nobody was hurt, he might be charged with attempted murder.

The clash near Paita happened while more than 100 police using armoured personnel carriers tried to dislodge a group of young men who had blocked the main road near St Louis south of Noumea for two days.

There have been no arrests over the disruption in St Louis, which stopped thousands of commuters from travelling.

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