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PM's bodyguards give up arms

PM's bodyguards got arms: Army
Monday December 04, 2006

Police bodyguards protecting the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and other Government VIP's had their weapons briefly removed by the military, says army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

In a press conference at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Commodore Bainimarama tried to justify the military's seizure of weapons owned by the Fiji Police as a move to prevent "dissidents" from using them against his soldiers.

Commodore Bainimarama initially said that the arms were taken from the PM's bodyguard. However, moments later, after a note was placed in front of him by one of his officers, Commodore Bainimarama said the arms have been returned.

The military head tried to justify the seizure of police weaponry earlier in the day.

"We would not want to see a situation whereby the police and the military are opposed in an armed confrontation," Bainimarama told journalists.

He reiterated that all individuals "intending to commit criminal acts against the populace, the military and the police, not to do so".

The Acting Police Commissioner Moses Driver has condemned the removal of the police weaponry as an illegal and unnecessary action.


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