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A teenager was shot dead on Tuesday as violent protests continue in Solomon Islands, with reports of another youth being killed in Gizo on Wednesday.
The protesters, gathered to prevent construction work on an airport, have destroyed buildings including a police station, with at least 20 police and more than 60 civilians being injured.
An extra 28 police have been deployed to bolster an existing 20 from Honiara, bringing the total deployment to 220 officers, including a general strike and work stoppage by more than 200 public servants to coincide with a protest to ban mining.
Meanwhile, the country’s police commissioner David Jamail says the protest demonstration will go ahead.
He said security forces will do everything necessary to get it to end peacefully, adding that hundreds of police are patrolling the area in case the situation gets worse.
No official figures were available on the deaths but police say at least 10 have been arrested.
Supporters of the National Synod of the San people in Honiara are protesting the National Mining and Metals Corporation’s (NMMC) exploration and exploration of nickel on their lands.
They are also protesting the work of the NMMC, which is an affiliate of the Houston firm SWACO, is on their land and that NMMC have not gotten the required government approval to continue its activities, which is delaying the construction of the new airport.
SWACO’s operations on and off Papua New Guinea and Samoa, have been blocked for months due to community opposition.
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