12 Nov 2013

PNG police reinforcements to contain latest Southern Highlands violence

10:24 pm on 12 November 2013

Violence is continuing to flare up in the Kagua-Erave district in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands following the torching of houses early on Monday morning, in which 14 people died.

The Southern Highlands police commander, chief inspector Sibron Papoto, who only began in the job on Tuesday, says details are sketchy because his officers have not yet been able to get to the scene.

But he says chiefs have told police 14 people died and a number of others were injured.

Chief inspector Papoto says they understand those who managed to escape the fires were shot dead.

There are reports that a hand grenade was used but Mr Papoto says this remains open to question.

"Right now I can't confirm whether that hand grenade was used or some other type of weapon was used - because of the tense situation they couldn't get in there. So I am in the process of organising extra reinforcements, about 50 policemen will go in and they will camp out at a school near the location where the incident occurred and then try and contain that situation."