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FijiLive
Drivers stabbed and robbed in hijacking
Thursday, June 15, 2000

A TAXI driver is recovering at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in
Suva after he was stabbed and his vehicle taken by a group of people.
The army confirmed yesterday that three vehicles were hijacked near the
parliamentary complex. In a statement the army said "one of the drivers
was seriously hurt during the hijack and is recovering in hospital".

However, police spokesperson Inspector Sera Bernard disputed the
hijacking. She said the first driver was robbed of $35 and his taxi meter at
11am on Kiwi Drive. "The second driver was robbed of the same amount
of money and his meter at Muanikau at 1pm. "The third driver was not
robbed but just seriously injured." Inspector Bernard said police believe
that the taxi driver was injured with a knife. "He is in a satisfactory
condition."

Meanwhile, Ratu Timoci Silatolu the adviser to rebel leader George Speight
denied any knowledge of the incident. "I am not aware, as from 1.15pm
this afternoon I visited the hostages trying to ensure they are comfortable,"
he said Ratu Timoci said anybody could have done it as a lot of people
were coming in and out of the parliamentary complex."

In the wake of the hijacking, the army has requested motorists not to travel
in the vicinity. Meanwhile, vehicle owners and users can expect easier
passage through some checkpoints into Suva, after the military decided to
ease checkpoint duties during peak hours. Senior operations officer
Colonel Jackson Evans said this is to ensure people going to work in the
morning and leaving in the afternoon.

"We will maintain our normal stance at the checkpoints closer to the
parliament complex," he said. Lieutenant Colonel Evans said they have
been bombarded with queries that should be directed to police. "I merely
wish to confirm that the police is still in charge of all civil matters and any
information should be directed to the nearest police station or post," he
said.

Fiji's Daily Post

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