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French authorities report sixth fatality in New Caledonia violence
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French authorities report sixth fatality in New Caledonia violence

  • PublishedMay 18, 2024

French security forces reported another death Saturday in armed clashes in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, the sixth fatality in a nearly a week of violent unrest wracking the archipelago whose indigenous population has long sought independence.

The person was killed in an exchange of fire at one of the many impromptu barricades blocking roads on the island, said a security official speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the situation publicly. Two other people were seriously injured in the clash, the official said, confirming French media reports. The official said the firefight erupted at a blockade in the north of the main island, at Kaala-Gomen.

Le Monde and other French news outlets said the person killed was a man and that his son was among the injured.

Two police officers were among those who died earlier this week in the unrest that has prompted the government in Paris to impose a state of emergency on the archipelago and rush in reinforcements for security services battling armed clashes, looting, arson and other mayhem.

The unrest erupted Monday following protests over voting reforms opposed by pro-independence supporters who have long pushed to break free from France.

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