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Serial demonstrations, mass movements Event icon
Event title

Solomon Islands - Buildings burned in looting after Solomon Islands protest

Event category

Social incident - Serial demonstrations, mass movements

Severity

Low

Event date (UTC)

2021-11-25 08:05:54

Last update (UTC)

2021-11-27 09:38:11

Latitude

-9.433329

Longitude

159.95

Area range

Local event

Address/Affected area(s)

Honiara, Capital Territory, Guadalcanal

A police station, a Parliament building and several shops have been set on fire by looters in the Solomon Islands after what started as a peaceful morning protest turned ugly around mid-afternoon. Videos on social media show police firing tear gas to disperse looters, and buildings on fire, including one within the Parliament grounds. RNZ Pacific's correspondent in the capital Honiara, Georgina Kekea, was in the Kukum area where the police station and shops were set alight, and said at least one building had been burned down. Police she spoke to said the large crowds had been at the other end of town, and officers had not expected the crowd to attack their police station. "So when they came out and they just saw all the protesters there and they had to run into a room and hide. There were about 10 of them. They were in the rooms when they started breathing in smoke and they realised that the building was being burnt, so they came out and the building has [now] burnt down," she said. Earlier in the day a plume of black smoke was seen rising from parliament's grounds, where Kekea said a leaf hut used for coffee breaks was on fire, before firefighters from the fire station next to parliament put the blaze out. Kekea said local police are calling for calm as they tried to restore order. They said much of the looting was being carried out by criminal opportunists, most of them young men. The original protest at parliament was led by citizens from Malaita Province, who were voicing their frustrations in the national government and calling for the prime minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down.

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