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Boy shot during riot in Madang

Wednesday 1 July 2015 | Published in Regional


MADANG – In Papua New Guinea, a peaceful protest march in the town of Madang turned violent this week, leaving a boy dead, scores wounded and business destroyed by looters.

Madang provincial police commander Sylvester Kalaut said police had not sanctioned the march and he has called for an independent police investigation in the shooting of the primary school boy, allegedly by police.

Kalaut said that investigation will determine whether the victim had died from shots fired by police, the public or a owner of the business houses ransacked.

He said a number of people sustained bullet and knife wounds as well as cuts from shattered glasses windows.

Kalaut said two church pastors had organised the march to demonstrate “capitalism versus colonialism” and had attracted a number of schools which had closed for the day.

Kalau reiterated that he had not approved the march, therefore it was unlawful and the two pastors would be investigated and charged.

He said the trouble escalated when opportunists mixed with the marchers which led to what amounted to a riot of looting.

Kalaut said the purpose of the march was not understood by many but it attracted such a large number of residents that businesses were forced to close for the day before the looting started.

Most Madang town residents were surprised to see opportunists and even street vendors barging into some of the main Asian shops and coming out with looted shop merchandise.

Kalaut says as many as five hundred people were involved with the rioting