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Alice Springs waits on curfew call

Alice Springs residents are waiting to hear if police will lift a snap curfew after renewed clashes threatened to extend a three-night lockdown.

A three-night curfew was declared for Alice Springs after a weekend of violence. Photo: Reuters

A three-night curfew was declared for Alice Springs after a weekend of violence. Photo: Reuters

Police said most residents had complied with the restrictions ahead of a decision on Thursday on a possible extension.

But on Wednesday afternoon they arrested five people involved in a big family feud in the town’s centre.

Police said the families were known to each other.

There are reports they are the same families at the centre of a feud that sparked a three-week curfew in March and April following the death of an 18-year-old man, who had been left trapped under a stolen vehicle.

While no-one was injured in the latest clash, weapons including nulla-nullas, spears, a baseball bat and a machete were seized by police.

Acting Southern Commander Drew Slape said the “reprehensible behaviour” had no place in the community.

“Our dedicated officers have responded to calls to assist and we will have extra members working tonight, giving up their time off in order to keep Alice Springs residents safe,” he said.

It is unknown if the disturbance will extend the curfew.

Police Minister Brent Potter said the decision to extend the curfew would be made on Thursday morning after he and NT Police Commissioner Michael Murphy had reviewed the “most up-to-date” information.

“The police commissioner and I are in regular contact regarding the on-going curfew in Alice Springs,” Potter said.

Murphy on Monday declared a 72-hour curfew which banned adults and children from entering the town centre from 10pm to 6am each night, unless they have a valid reason to be there.

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Under controversial laws passed on urgency in May, the police commissioner can call a snap curfew but only the Police Minister can extend it upon the commissioners request.

Murphy said he made the decision to lockdown Alice Springs following a string of violent incidents at the weekend.

NT Police confirmed about 5000 people travelled to Alice Springs in recent weeks for school holidays, the Alice Springs Show and NAIDOC week.

– AAP

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