Four men also shot dead in Carancar in celebration of news of controversial leader’s death
Three bodies were found on a street in the Solomon Islands’ Chinatown, amid clashes after the death of an opposition leader. Four men were also shot dead in the celebrations, local media reported.
The three men burned to death in the street in the capital, Honiara, on Thursday night, police spokeswoman Joy Matenga told the local Solomons News.
Members of the crowd gathered outside parliament after it was announced the body of opposition leader Matthew Wale had been found in the sea. The body was pulled from the water on Saturday after violent riots swept across the area.
The six-hour violence saw 12 people arrested, including MPs and members of the media.
David Nagumo, 34, the acting commissioner of police, said police in riot gear pushed back people taking part in violence.
Man on street of Honiara reacts after Matthew Wale death revealed as suicide Read more
“We use force to maintain law and order. It’s very sad. In many places in the past they’ve taken to their hats, so you can imagine where they might have gone.”
Many people were hurt by the clashes.
The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, also apologised. “The manner in which yesterday’s proceedings in parliament were conducted has neither the right tone nor the right intentions,” he said.
As news of Wale’s death started spreading through the city, pro-government supporters celebrated along the main street in Carancar, killing four men.
Locals said people they believed to be rival party supporters threw rocks, threw bottles, set fire to several cars and fought in some shops. Officers were forced to open fire in the air to disperse the crowd.
One policeman was injured.
The popular opposition leader has been the target of multiple investigations over charges related to money laundering. His party’s secretary-general, Nathan Manase, and two MPs were arrested earlier in the week on allegations that they tried to cover up a corrupt deal with a Chinese company.
In 2013 Wale was stripped of his passport when he failed to turn up in court after a dispute with the attorney general. He claims it was revoked under political pressure.