Morrison says plan to "disrupt operations" on Manus failed

IMMIGRATION Minister Scott Morrison said a "deliberate attempt" to disrupt operations at the Manus Island detention centre, during a riot in which one person was killed, has not worked.

The "serious incident" included the death of one asylum seeker, another shot in the buttocks, and the majority of 77 people injured with head wounds.

The riot, which saw several hundreds of asylum seekers break through fences at the centre, happened throughout Monday night, after Papua New Guinea police refused to release detainees involved in a similar incident on Sunday.

Mr Morrison said the incident had "escalated quickly", with a confrontation between asylum seekers and security staff within the centre, and further violence during altercations with local police.

He confirmed PNG police had fired shots on at least two occasions throughout the riot, but could not detail whether the victims of gunshots were actually shot by police.

Mr Morrison describing the death as a tragedy, while it is understood it was prompted by rolling protests from asylum seekers held in the centre which first began on Sunday.

Despite the latest protests, Mr Morrison said the government remained clear in its resolve to continue holding asylum seekers in offshore detention centres.

He said the Cabinet's national security committee also met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss then riot, while about 100 extra security staff were on standby if violence continues.

Mr Morrison said Prime Minister Tony Abbott also spoke with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill on Tuesday, with both leaders confirming their "commitment" to offshore processing.

He said an internal review of the circumstances would be completed, and the death of the asylum seeker would also be subject to a police investigation.