Saturday, November 18, 2006

Australia and New Zealand send troops to Tonga

A joint contingent of more than 60 troops and police from New Zealand and Australia landed in Tonga Friday to support the government of the Tongan king.

Rioters destroyed about 80 percent of businesses in business district of Nuku'alofa, the capital, and eight people were killed in the unrest.

The destroyed headquarters of the Shoreline Group of Companies on Taufa�ahau Road in Nuku'alofa, Tonga is seen November 17, 2006. About 150 Australian and New Zealand soldiers and police arrived in Tonga on Saturday to boost security in the South Pacific island kingdom after violent riots in which eight people died. Picture taken November 17, 2006. REUTERS/Stringer (TONGA)
The destroyed headquarters of the Shoreline Group of Companies on Taufa'ahau Road in Nuku'alofa, Tonga is seen November 17, 2006. REUTERS/Stringer viat Yahoo News.

Violence broke out during a protest against the government calling for democratic change. Businesses of the King and his partners were targeted.

King Siaosi Tupou and his sister Princess Pilolevu have taken control of most of the state's assets following the death of their father King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

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