23 Sep 2008

Calm returns to Highlands area of PNG's Enga following tribal killings

8:38 pm on 23 September 2008

The Police Commander in Papua new Guinea's Enga province says the situation in the Highlands region where sixteen people were killed in recent tribal fighting is calm again.

The deaths are being attributed to a recent chain of payback violence which started two months ago when a jilted lover killed a man from a rival tribe over a woman.

It sparked a running tribal fight in the remote area where twelve houses were also burnt, scores of people injured, and livestock was slaughtered during the violence.

Police Commander Michael Chare, who admits police were deployed to the area too late to stop the killings, says the dead were killed with high-powered firearms.

"We received the reports a little bit late because of the remoteness of the location. It's really a very isolated case confirmed to a certain locality. It's stabilised now. The police went in on the 13th. The police presence on the ground now thinks the situation now is back to normal."

Enga Police Commander Michael Chare