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Australia, NZ unable to send evacuation flights to New Caledonia

20/5/2024 12:50
        A thousand police arrived in New Caledonia from France and street clashes had calmed, the French High Commission said on Monday, but Australia and New
        Zealand were unable to send in evacuation flights for tourists stranded on the Pacific island.
        
        Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said "the situation there is deeply concerning", as damage to roads and blockades prevented access to the airport in the French-ruled territory that has been hit by deadly riots over the past week.
        
        France's top official in the territory, Louis Le Franc, said on Sunday evening a police operation to regain control of the road from the capital Noumea to the international airport would take several days. Gendarmes had dismantled 76 road blocks.
        
        After a night when there was fire and looting, Albanese told ABC radio that Australia had been seeking approval from French authorities for two days to send an evacuation flight to New Caledonia to pick up tourists stranded in hotels.
        
        



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