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Violence rages in New Caledonia as France rushes emergency reinforcements to its Pacific territory

Violence raged across New Caledonia for the third consecutive day on Thursday, hours after France imposed a state of emergency in the French Pacific territory, boosting security forces’ powers to quell deadly unrest in the archipelago that has long sought independence.

French authorities in New Caledonia and the interior ministry in Paris reported that five people, including two police officer, have been killed in the violence after protests earlier this week over voting reforms pushed by President Emmanuel Macron’s government turned deadly.

At least 60 members of the security forces were injured and 214 people were arrested in the Thursday’s clashes with police, arson and looting, according to the territory’s top French official, High Commissioner Louis Le Franc.

“Everything is being done to restore order and calm that Caledonians deserve,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said after Thursday’s security meeting at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris.

Attal said France will provide the island with essential goods after three days of unrest. In addition to the 1,700 security forces troops that have already been deployed to help police curb the violence, 1,000 more are on the way, he added.

The situation “remains very tense, with looting, riots, arson and attacks which are unbearable and unspeakable,” Attal said.

Two members of the island’s Indigenous Kanak community were among the five dead, French Interior and Overseas Territories Minister Gerald Darmanin said Thursday.

“The (French) state will regain total control,” Darmanin declared in a series of interviews with French media.

Darmanin said 10 people, all alleged members of the pro-independence movement known as The Field Acton Coordination Unit, have been