Thursday, November 16, 2006

Calm returns after pro-democracy riots in Tonga

Security forces appear to have restored calm in the Tongan capital after massiver pro-democracy riots turned violent. Up to six people have died and reports say that some 80 percent of businesses in the central business district of Nuku'alofa were destroyed.

The Tongan government said Friday they were in control of the situation and resused military help from Australia and New Zealand.

Businesses owned by the new king and those of Tonga's Chinese community were reportedly targeted by looters. Many Chinese were said to have sought protection at the Chinese embassy.

Smoke rising from buildings in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa. Photo from