Two dead, hundreds injured as riots sweep New Caledonia

NOUMEA  -   France on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in its overseas territory of New Caledonia after a second night of rioting in which two people were killed and hundred injured, as anger over constitutional reforms from Paris boiled over. President Emmanuel Macron warned that any further violence would be met with an “unyielding” response and called for a resumption of political dialogue to end the unrest which had now claimed three lives, the Elysee said in a statement. Shops were looted and public buildings torched during last night’s violence, the authorities there said. What began as pro-independence demonstrations has spiralled into three days of the worst violence on the French Pacific archipelago since the 1980s. Despite heavily armed security forces fanning out across the capital Noumea, and the ordering of a nighttime curfew, rioting continued overnight virtually unabated. Hundreds of people including “around 100” police and gendarmes have been injured in the unrest, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in Paris. One person had been shot dead overnight but authorities were yet to establish what had led to the incident, Darmanin said, adding that dozens of homes and businesses had been torched.

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