New Telegraph

New Caledonia ‘Under Siege’ From Rioting, Says Capital’s Mayor

The Pacific territory of New Caledonia is “under siege”, the mayor of its capital has said, following days of rioting that has left six people dead.

Nouméa mayor Sonia Lagarde said numerous public buildings on the archipelago had been set on fire and that, despite the arrival of hundreds of police reinforcements, the situation was “far from getting back to calm”.

French gendarmes have launched a major operation to regain control of a 60km (37- mile) road between Nouméa and the airport, France’s interior minister said.

The unrest began last week after lawmakers in Paris voted through changes that will allow more French residents to vote in local elections, a move indigenous leaders say will dilute the political influence of native people, reports the BBC.

Officials said a sixth person was killed and two were injured during an exchange of gunfire at a makeshift roadblock in the north of the territory on Saturday

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