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FIJI: Military open fire at rebel leader's convoy

Published: Tue 13 Jun 2000 09:05 AM
USP Journalism online (UTS host): http://www.journalism.uts.edu.au/ Wansolwara Online: http://www.lookinglassdesign.com/wansolwara/wansol.html Have your say: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/vgbook/109497.gbook
SUVA: Fijian military forces opened fire today on a vehicle carrying rebel leader George Speight, according to local radio FM96.
However, military spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini said the shooting was "warning shots".
He did not explain why the shots were fired.
Pacnews described Speight as having a "narrow escape", but added that the rebel leader was not hurt and neither were three bodyguards who were with him in one of two vehicles carrying the rebels' negotiating team.
The incident happened at the seaside Muanikau checkpoint in the capital of Suva.
An angry Ratu Timoci Silatolu, Speight's deputy, told Pacnews the rebels would demand an explanation from the military.
Speight's group was reportedly returning to the Parliament complex from talks with Fiji's former Vice-President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, when his vehicle came under fire.
Pacnews reported that Ratu Josefa Iloilo later met with the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, but no details had been released on the outcome of the talks.
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