Negotiations between the RSIPF and community leaders in the Naha area continued yesterday after members of the Participating Police Force were forced to use teargas in the early hours of Saturday morning when two groups throwing rocks at each other started attacking the police and military.

Commissioner Peter Marshall said that earlier in the night the RSIPF had responded reports of a disturbance in the area with people throwing rocks at a residence.

"The disturbance escalated and vehicles were unable to pass on public roads," he said.

"PPF and RAMSI military were called out to help deal with the incident near the Kobito bus stop at Naha where about 60 people were confronting each other and throwing rocks," Commissioner Marshall said.

"Offenders began throwing rocks at a PPF and CTF patrol. Additional PPF and CTF members responded to the callout for assistance around 1am," he said.

Commander PPF Wayne Buchhorn said that given the imminent danger to police officers and members of the public early intervention was warranted when the attacks on RAMSI personnel persisted.

"A PPF response team used one canister of teargas and beanbag rounds to help disperse the mob who continued throwing rocks at each other and Police," he said.

"A member of the public hit by a rock was conveyed to NRH for treatment.

"The level of force used by Police, including the use of teargas, was restrained and necessary," Commander Buchhorn said.

"A RAMSI helicopter was used to help illuminate the area and the fighting parties were safely dispersed," he said.

"PPF will continue to support the RSIPF in maintaining law and order in the settlement communities of Honiara. This is why we are here."

Copyright @ 2009. Police Media Unit. All Rights Reserved.