Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Papua New Guinea: More than 20 killed in tribal violence

Papua New Guinea: More than 20 killed in tribal violence

Gunmen have massacred at least 18 people in a village in Papua New Guinea, worldwide media reports have said.

Tribal violence is common in Papua New Guinea's interior, where villagers avenge relatives in retaliation known as payback, according to the AP.

No longer lower than 24 of us are confirmed to include died in a brutal flare-up of violence between rival tribes over quite a bit of days in Hela province.

Radio NZ is reporting the attack on Monday occurred in Tagali local level government area of Hela province's Tari-Pori district, the electorate of Prime Minister James Marape.

The Governor described the incident as a "rare outbreak of tribal violence in the Highlands region" while speaking to American broadcaster ABC.

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

Over the past years, the influx of automatic weapons has made clashes more deadly and escalated the cycle of violence.

Many villagers fled the violence, Hela Administrator William Bando told the newspaper.

Local media reported the attack appeared to be in retaliation for the ambush and murder for six people the day before.

"Gun-toting criminals, your time is up", Mr Marape said.

"I wake up in the morning, go to make a fire in my kitchen, at the same time I heard the sound of guns, then I saw some of the houses they were burning, so I knew that enemies are already inside the village", Pimua said. "Today is one of the saddest days of my life", he said on social media.

He said he had been requesting more police for Hela since 2012, adding that a local force of 60 officers could not support a province of 400,000.

The provinces of the highlands of Papua New Guinea are very remote. Communities are still based around tribal traditions and many small villages have never had road connections.

In 2018, an natural disaster devastated one of the most most a ways flung regions.

It is not clear what prompted the latest attacks, but many tribal clashes are old rivalries ignited by allegations of rape, theft, or disputes over territorial boundaries.

But while clans have fought each other for decades or centuries, the severity of the violence has shocked Papua New Guinea.

ExxonMobil was forced to halt construction on a natural gas pipeline past year because of unrest.

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