Police in France’s Riot-hit New Caledonia Shoot Man Dead After President Macron Visit

Fri May 24 2024
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NOUMEA: A policeman in riot-hit New Caledonia killed a man on Friday after being attacked by demonstrators, as President Emmanuel Macron warned against the French Pacific territory turning into a new “Wild West.”

The latest fatality was a blow to hopes for peace after Macron’s visit which some officials had seen as heralding an end to more than a week of violence that has now killed 7 people, according to western media.

Macron flew on Thursday to the southwest Pacific archipelago, located about 17,000 from mainland France, in an urgent bid to defuse a swelling political crisis over election reform.

The killing of a 48-year-old man by police on Friday took the death tally from the unrest to 7, including two gendarmes.

This was the first time that a civilian had been killed by a member of law enforcement since riots erupted on May 13.

A police officer and his colleague were physically attacked by a group of around fifteen individuals in Dumbea near capital Noumea, forcing him to draw his weapon, said prosecutor Yves Dupas.

Dupas said in a statement that in circumstances that have yet to be determined, the officer is said to have fired a shot from his service weapon to extricate himself from the physical altercation.

It added that initial findings show traces of blows to the officers’ faces.

Police Officer Arrested

The officer who fired the shots was arrested, the prosecutor said, adding that an investigation into voluntary manslaughter by a person in authority was launched.

Such legal moves are usually automatic in the country when a policeman kills an individual.

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