20 Dec 2005

Seven die in tribal fighting in Papua New Guinea highlands

4:11 pm on 20 December 2005

Seven people have been killed and at least a dozen injured in clan fights over compensation payments from the giant Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea's highlands.

The Enga provincial police commander, Teddy Tei, says a village court magistrate and a local chief were among those shot dead last Thursday after recipients of the compensation money refused to share it with other clan members.

The AAP news agency reports the commander saying the fighting started after around 60 thousand US dollars was paid by Porgera Joint Venture to the Okoyape sub-clan for use of their land to dump mine waste.

Four men were killed in one fight last week and after the fighting spread to other clans another two were shot dead during a clash in which a trade store was burnt down near the mining township.

Mr Tei says police and administration officials had travelled to the trouble spots to try to prevent further violence.