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At least 20 dead in post-election violence

Monday August 14, 2017 Written by Published in Regional

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – At least twenty people have died in election-related violence since vote counting began last month in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province.

 

PNG’s election has finished except in one electorate in the Highlands region where unrest linked to ballot box disputes continues in several towns.

However the violence is worst in Enga’s capital Wabag where police say six people died since Friday after fresh fighting involving supporters of the ousted member for Kandep Open, Don Polye.

The groups fighting have been using military assault weapons which include AR15s and Russian-made AK47s. While he has hundreds of security force personnel at his disposal, Enga’s Provincial Police Commander, George Kakas, admits it has become difficult to control the fighting.

“We’ve been trying to separate the two from facing other but it’s been a bit difficult because they’ve been coming through the mountains, the valleys and the rivers, where it’s difficult terrain for us,” he said.

“We’ve been protecting government assets and the banks, provincial government administrative building, the post office and schools.”

According to Mr Kakas, there are at least twenty people who have died in the fighting of the past month – but he said it was hard to give an exact death count.       - RNZI