Tribal clashes in Papua New Guinea highlands leave dozens dead

Tribal clashes in Papua New Guinea highlands leave dozens dead

A violent conflict between rival tribes in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea has resulted in the deaths of dozens of men, according to local police. The incident occurred on Sunday, when a group of armed men attacked another tribe near Mount Bosavi, in the border area of Hela and Southern Highlands provinces. The attackers used heavy weapons and fired indiscriminately, killing many of their victims on the spot. Some of the bodies were still lying in the bushes, waiting to be recovered by their relatives.
Papua New Guinea’s Enga province. Dozens have been killed in an outbreak of tribal violence in the Pacific nation.

The motive behind the attack is unclear, but tribal warfare is common in parts of Papua New Guinea, where disputes over land, resources, politics, or revenge can trigger deadly clashes. The region has also been affected by the presence of criminal gangs, who smuggle guns and drugs across the island. The police commander of Enga province, George Kakas, told the Guardian that the attackers were part of such a gang, and that they had been involved in a previous confrontation with security guards at a logging site, where two of them were wounded.


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The situation in the area remains tense, but the police have cleared the highway for the public to travel. The authorities have also appealed for calm and urged the tribes to refrain from further violence.

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The Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, expressed his concern over the incident and said that Australia was providing support to Papua New Guinea, especially in training police officers and enhancing security1.

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The massacre is one of the worst outbreaks of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea in recent years. Last year, the same province witnessed a series of attacks that killed up to 150 people, although the exact number is disputed.

The violence drew international attention after a disturbing video showed men being tied up and dragged behind a truck, while onlookers cheered2.

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