Friday, 1 August 2008 7:21 AM

Attack on Officers at Weathercoast

The arrest of a wanted criminal leads to attack on four police officers, two locals and two RAMSI personnel, at the Weathercoast in West Guadalcanal.

More than 20 men attacked the police officers Tuesday in the course of their duties in the arrest of Robert Tatave from Veravolia Village.

Mr. Tatave is wanted in connection with a series of murders, abductions and arson attacks in 2003.

Speaking at a press conference in Honiara, the Acting Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said that more than 20 men from the village threw stones at the officers in the course of arresting Mr. Tatave.

He told the press conference the officers feared for their safety and had to let go of the offender to calm the incident.

Three warning shots were given to disperse the crowd.

Mr. Marshall said that one of the two RAMSI officers was seriously injured and is now receiving medical treatment.

The Acting Police Commissioner commended the officers for being "very brave to go out there and perform their lawful duty where there was high risk for their lives".

He said the "cowardly attack" is not going to stop the arrest of Mr. Tatave who escaped in the midst of the chaos.

Mr. Marshall warned that the force will go back there and bring him before court.

The press conference learned that the escapee was still in handcuffs said to be "extremely difficult to get off".

It would be very uncomfortable and the wanted man will not hide forever, the Acting Commissioner told local journalists.

Mr. Marshall said that his police force are taking the case very seriously and will do everything to capture Mr. Tatave.

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