16 Apr 2009

Four dead after shootout in PNG's Porgera valley

1:34 pm on 16 April 2009

Four men are reported dead and two seriously injured after a shootout with police in the gold rich Porgera valley of Papua New Guinea's Enga Province.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the shootout happened at a roadblock manned by bandits heavily armed with rifles and pump-action shotguns.

Various PNG media reports say the shootout began when the bandits fired at a bus which turned out to be carrying some undercover policemen who returned fire with similar weapons.

Most of the gang of 15 fled back into the bush with their weapons.

The Porgera area has become the focus of increased tribal fighting and criminal activity in recent weeks.

The Highlands police commander Simon Kauba says that within days, police will move in to Porgera Valley and deal with the bandits if they didn't surrender.

The PNG Police commissioner Gari Baki said 200 extra police would also shortly be deployed to the area for a six-week operation.