Image copyright Google Images Image caption Police reportedly stopped bus loads of people in the street
Three people have been burned to death in Solomon Islands after demonstrations and violence in the capital’s Chinatown, according to police.
The bodies of a man, a woman and a child were found on Tuesday night.
Four other people died on Monday, four others were injured and 28 people were arrested over the disturbances.
The violence began on Sunday when police tried to disperse a crowd of hundreds of people, causing the protests to spread.
Videos and photographs posted on social media show a large crowd of rioters.
The Solomon Islands police commissioner, Regional Assistance Mission (RAMSI), said a small group of up to 400 people had breached an area approved for rallies by carrying out the violence.
Local officials and community leaders told correspondents the protesters had also made “financial demands” on people in the area.
People tried to rescue the burned bodies after they were found
“Citizens believe that both the RMS [Regional Assistance Mission] and police were looking to co-opt the community for political ends,” Solomon Islands Human Rights Commission head David Jinaikara told Agence France-Presse news agency.
Police said that several hundred people had dispersed to a nearby swamp when the violence broke out, sparking rioting, looting and arson.
The unrest comes just days after a youth curfew was imposed in Honiara, which is currently home to about 300,000 people.
In total, seven people died in total when violent rioting broke out in Honiara last weekend.
Violence escalated as police tried to clear a protest site earlier on Sunday, shooting and injuring several people.
Two more people died after their bodies were found in a building, and the body of a third person was burnt in a house as tensions remained high on Monday night.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Locals say they wanted to target shops selling alcohol
The prime minister warned Honiara would be closed from Tuesday morning if the unrest continued.
Solomon Islands’ Bureamia Nation, which said it was behind the demonstrations, said it was a “small group of people” seeking to have “their complaints” addressed.
The group, according to the television station Solomon Broadcasting Company, had been protesting for several months over an alcohol ban in the area as well as for funds to help make the city’s ailing economy better.
Shops in the area were reportedly looted on Monday night.