Violent protests return to New Caledonia

The South Pacific French territory of New Caledonia has been hit by a new wave of unrest.

Local authorities said on Monday that a police station and municipal facility were set on fire overnight despite a night curfew still being in place.

They also said clashes broke out between police and pro-independence forces.

This is believed to be backlash against the extradition of seven pro-independence group activists, including its leader, to France on Saturday.

They are being detained over last month's deadly riots, in which nine people, including two French security forces, have died.
A wave of violence erupted in the territory after the French parliament sought to grant voting rights to French citizens in New Caledonia.

The indigenous Kanak people feared this would prevent their voices from being fully heard and threaten their quest for independence.

The French government had declared a state of emergency but lifted it at the end of May.

The unrest's impact on New Caledonia's economy is becoming serious. The territory is the world's third largest producer of nickel, but its nickel and tourism industries have been hit hard.