Friday, 18 March 2011
Christmas Island - 200 asylum seekers riot following earlier breakouts and protests
18/03/2011 - Around 200 asylum seekers were involved in Thursday night's violence during which Australian Federal Police (AFP) used tear gas and ``bean-bag bullets''.
Police said the rioters carried ``accelerant-based weapons'', poles, bricks, pavers, concrete blocks and a wheelie bin full of rocks.
Following mass break-outs and two other riots earlier in the week, the situation remains tense, with some sort of protest now a nightly occurrence.
..Buildings and tents within the island's detention centre were set ablaze overnight, continuing four days of unrest in which Federal Police have been forced to use tear gas and non-lethal bullets.
The situation erupted during the early hours of Monday when several hundred detainees began rioting.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen told reporters in Canberra there were 70 extra AFP officers on the way to the island bringing the total contingent to 188.
Defence Minister rules out Army deployment
Defence Minister Stephen Smith has ruled out using the military to restore order on Christmas Island after violent protests.
Three times this week, Australian Federal Police have used tear gas to quell protests by up to 300 asylum seekers, angry over delays in processing their claims.
Gas and so-called beanbag bullets were used again on Thursday night when up to 250 detainees burnt accommodation tents and buildings and threw rocks at police.
Posted by sysiphus at 18:22