2 Feb 2010

Too early to speculate on cause of deadly PNG land dispute, says Exxonmobil

8:00 pm on 2 February 2010

The company that operates Papua New Guinea's LNG project says its too early to speculate on the cause of a land dispute that resulted in the deaths of four villagers.

Four young men were killed in the fight which broke out last weekend near ExxonMobil's PNG LNG site on the outskirts of Port Moresby.

There have been reports the land dispute between villagers from Boera and Porebada may have been over the project site.

But ExxonMobil will only say that the deaths are tragic and it has temporarily suspended work in the area out of respect for the victims and their families.

Police spokesperson Senior Sergeant David Terry says they're trying to identify those responsible for the killings and prevent any further trouble.

"As soon as the problem flared up there was an immediate police response and there's a police unit in the area, operating in the area just to keep both sides at bay to prevent any further killings and arguments."

Senior Sergeant David Terry