4 Feb 2003

Ethnic clash in PNG's Morobe Province

6:19 pm on 4 February 2003

An ethnic clash in Papua New Guinea has left one man killed, two policeman injured and nearly 260-thousand US dollars worth of property destroyed.

The National newspaper reports that in Lae city in Morobe Province, 20 public buses, three trade stores, 12 houses and eight vehicles belonging to Western Highlanders were destroyed by people belonging to the Men-yam-ya tribe yesterday.

Police say the ethnic fight erupted from a weekend incident when a group of drunk Western Highlanders threw sugar cane husks at a Men-yam-ya man selling produce at a the local Taraka market.

The Men-yam-ya man retaliated and was stoned by the Western Highlanders.

Police say the weekend incident led yesterday to full scale fighting between the two groups.

The Morobe Deputy Governor has appealed to people to stay away from the fighting areas and says more police will be deployed there.