25 Jan 2010

11 die in PNG attack linked to LNG project

2:32 pm on 25 January 2010

Eleven people have been shot dead in Papua New Guinea, amid a dispute over profits from the massive LNG project.

The 16 billion US dollar project, will see a pipeline carrying liquid natural gas from an ExxonMobil site in PNG's Southern Highlands to Port Moresby from 2014.

The Post Courier reports a gang of villagers from Erave district, in the Southern Highlands, attacked their neighbouring clan with high-powered guns in an early morning raid over the weekend.

Women and children fled as homes were torched and property destroyed in the attack, which killed 11 people.

The raid is believed to be retaliation for a previous killing that happened in the lead-up to LNG benefit-sharing negotiations last December.

The landowners affected by the pipeline spent weeks cutting a deal with the PNG government, but tensions remain as some landowners believe they missed out or were excluded from the talks.