INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rebel dies in gun battle

Published: Thu 27 Jul 2000 10:15 AM
One rebel has died following a battle between soldiers and coup leader George Speight's supporters this morning. He is believed to have died from head injuries.
About 30 rebel supporters are still in hospital this morning following a crackdown on Kalabu village by the military.
The rebel supporters were taken to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital this morning suffering from gunshot and other injuries. One soldier was wounded.
He is being operated on along with two rebels.
Fijilive's reporter outside the hospital says more rebels are being brought in, some limping and with bloodied faces.
After treatment, police and army officials will be taking the rebels to the Nasinu Police Mobile Unit where they will be charged.
The dead rebel is believed to be in his 40s. Doctors at the hospital have said he was dead on arrival.
The rebel's death brings to three the number of people killed since the attempted coup on May 19 - two rebels and one policeman.
Ambulances are rushing back and forth between the military checkpoint at Laqere Bridge and the hospital.
A running gun battle started at Kalabu in Nasinu outside Suva at 6.10 heavy gunfire and it continued till 7am. "It was like a small war going," a resident said. .
Radio reports said at least 500 people were removed from the Kalabu Fijian School where rebels where holed up to the Police Mobile Force in Nasinu.
After the initial gun battle, 30 young men were taken from the Kalabu School in a truck bound and piled on top of each other. They were guarded by armed military men in the back of the truck.
Civilians that had gathered to watch the action plus members of the media have been told by military personnel to leave Laqere in case of further retaliation by the rebels.

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