More Than 20 Killed, Including Women And Children, In PNG Violence

More Than 20 Killed, Including Women And Children, In PNG Violence”

Papua New Guinea's prime minister said a shortage of police officers was to blame for tribal violence that killed more than 20 people, including women and children.

Teddy Augwi said there have been at least 24 people killed in the region since Saturday when six people were ambushed near Peta village, Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier reported.

The governor of the remote highland province of Hela told Australian Broadcasting Corp. the latest violence was on Monday when 16 people including women and children died at the village of Karida.

James Marape, who took office as prime minister last May 30, promises to avenge the deaths and warns the authors of the massacre that "their time is up".

It is one of the worst outbreaks of tribal violence in PNG for years.

The motive for the killings is not yet known.

The victims' relatives retaliated with rifles the next day, killing 16-18 people in Karida, including pregnant women, he said.

Mr Undialu said: "It was a retaliation of a previous attack". Two women were pregnant.

"There could be more deaths today", Hela provincial administrator William Bando told AFP on Wednesday.

"I'm coming for you", he said to Haguai, Okiru and Liwi villagers, plus others in Tari who are alleged to have been living off killing others.

"It is an unbelievable, unthinkable and atrocious criminal act that must be dealt with swiftly and severely", Tokura said in a statement.

"How can a province of 400,000 of us feature with policing regulations and expose with below 60 policemen, and espresso operational protection power and police that does no higher than band abet maintenance", he added. Communities are silent based around tribal traditions and plenty small villages enjoy never had road connections.

The motivation behind the attack is not yet clear, but many fights in the region are fueled by old rivalries prompted by theft or disputes over tribal boundaries.

Nevertheless whereas clans enjoy fought every other for a long time or centuries, the severity of the violence has shy Papua Recent Guinea.

USA oil and gas company ExxonMobil operates a natural gas processing plant in the region where the massacre took place but halted construction on a pipeline a year ago because of unrest.

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