| 13.11,18. 02:27 AM |
Man killed during riot in Ali Curung, as cars set on fire and up to 100 reported fighting
Photo: Police from across the NT have been sent to Ali Curung following a violent riot. (Supplied: NT Police)
A man has been killed and at least one other has been injured after fighting broke out in a remote Northern Territory community, which was already in mourning following the death of four locals last week.
Police were called to Ali Curung, 377 kilometres north of Alice Springs, at about 11.30am on Monday amid reports of growing unrest.
The ABC was told up to 100 people were involved in fighting, using knives, pipes, machetes and spears.
Police confirmed the rioting led to a 25-year-old man being injured and killed.
Another man is suffering injuries which are not life-threatening.
Four people who died when their car broke down on an isolated road last week are understood to have had "linkages" to the Ali Curung community.
Superintendent Jody Nobbs said the cause of Monday's unrest was unknown, and did not say whether the two incidents were related.
"We won't rule anything out as to the cause," Superintendent Nobbs said.
"There was a tragic event that occurred last Friday involving broad community linkages to Ali Curung.
"So we are certainly not ruling out in this point in time that that tragic event from last week may have some involvement in today's matter, although it wouldn't be appropriate for me to say conclusively at the moment."
Superintendent Nobbs confirmed there had been "certainly large numbers of people involved", property damage, cars on fire and looting.
It is not believed anyone has been evacuated, but police have offered transportation.
"Police will continue to work with both the Government and non-government partners to identify processes to remove people from the Ali Curung community if they deem necessary," Superintendent Nobbs said.
"At this point in time we've offered transportation of community members out of Ali Curung but there's been no uptake of that arrangement at this point in time."
Police from Alice Springs, Darwin and Tennant Creek have now been dispatched to the community.
Superintendent Nobbs said all things have settled for the moment, but police would maintain a presence as long as required.
Members of the public have been advised to defer all unnecessary travel to Ali Curung during this time.
The community has seen ongoing tensions during the years, with extra police sent last year to keep conflict between two clan groups under control.
"Ali Curung has been a community that has had its challenges over the years but I certainly won't confirm or refute this [riot today] relates to past tensions … ," Superintendent Nobbs said.
Violence has been escalating: Mayor
Barkly Regional Council Mayor Steve Edgington said support, counselling and mediation would be required in Ali Curung as soon as possible.
"What we've seen is a whole set of tragic circumstances over the last week," he said.
"The deaths last week stranded out in the middle of the outback without the ability to communicate with people, such a sad event.
"And today a death at Ali Curung. It's a real tragedy for the whole region."
He was unsure whether the events were linked, saying violence had been ongoing in Ali Curung for about two or three years.
But he said he had been concerned by recent reports it was getting to "breaking point" and wrote to the Chief Minister in August encouraging him to move forward with a law and justice strategy.
He said while the Chief Minister acknowledged that local decision making could be used as a way to bring people back together, nothing had happened so far.
"I am disappointed. I don't write to the Chief Minister lightly," he said.
The Chief Minister has been contacted for comment.