26 Jul 2005

Unconfirmed reports that students seriously injured after clash with police in PNG

7:11 pm on 26 July 2005

Students from Papua New Guinea's main university are reported to be in hospital with serious injuries after a violent clash with armed police on the campus.

Gunmen torched vehicles and threw petrol bombs during a four-hour clash with 60 police at the Port Moresby campus, which ended without a single arrest.

A student spokesman, Tim Palma, says police raided the male dormitories and forced them to lie face down before assaulting them.

"They told all the students to lie flat on the ground and some were hitting and walking all over the students, hitting them at the back of their heads with the barrels of their guns. They threatened to shoot anyone, they said that if they lead the students outside of the school, then they might kill them or something."

Mr Palma says eight students were rushed by ambulance to Port Morseby General Hospital with broken ribs, jaws and internal bleeding.

This is the second violent outbreak at the university in the past fortnight.

Students have been boycotting classes in protest at the institution's new grading system.