New Caledonia's most wanted man shot dead in St Louis

RNZ reports New Caledonia's most wanted man has been killed in a shoot-out between rival groups in St Louis near Noumea.

Ramon Noraro was wanted by police on suspicion of having used a firearm in repeated and violent clashes which left five police officers with gunshot wounds.

The public broadcaster said details were sketchy but it suggests a fight broke out amid disagreements over how to respond to a judicial probe of the death of William Decoire, a man who was shot dead by police in October.

In the ensuing firefight, another person has been injured.

Police were reportedly also shot at.

Two people have been detained.

Reports say some people in St Louis want to co-operate with the authorities in the investigation of Willam Decoire's death while others seek to take revenge.

The October shooting triggered clashes which interrupted the main road south of Noumea for three days.

The French High Commission has announced that the road will be closed for the night following the incidents in St Louis.

Photo: AFP (Police officers guard the road in Mont-Dore, to the south of New Caledonia's capital, Noumea. The road is frequently closed by armed protesters).