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Sixth Death Recorded During Anti-Colonial Uprising in French Territory of New Caledonia


(AP) — 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 scorching the archipelago whose indigenous population has long sought independence.  Listen To Story


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.


This week’s violence erupted Monday following protests over voting reforms opposed by pro-independence supporters who have long pushed to break free from France.


Armed clashes, looting, arson and other mayhem have turned parts of the capital, Noumea, into no-go zones and left a vast trail of destruction. Charred hulks of burned-out cars litter roads, businesses and shops have been ransacked and buildings turned into smoking ruins, with fires sending billowing clouds of smoke into the South Pacific skies.



TOPSHOT – A temporary barricade, including containers of water in the event of a fire, is set up by residents with the aim of keeping watch over their neighbourhood in a peaceful manner along a road in the Magenta district of Noumea on May 16, 2024, amid protests linked to a debate on a constitutional bill aimed at enlarging the electorate for upcoming elections of the overseas French territory of New Caledonia. (Photo by Theo Rouby / AFP) (Photo by THEO ROUBY/AFP via Getty Images)


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