Gun violence rears its head in PNGs Southern Highlands

4:01 pm on 8 March 2016

Two recent cases of gun violence have ended a relatively peaceful two-year period in the Southern Highlands province, police in Papua New Guinea say.

Last week, three men were killed at a funeral in Mendi as part of an ongoing tribal dispute over land.

In January, another man was shot dead in Nipa also due to a land dispute.

The last firearms related incident was during a tribal fight in Kagua in late 2013 when 14 people were killed after a hand grenade was detonated.

Chief Superintendent Sibron Papoto of the Southern Highlands provincial police command said they had been working hard to stamp out gun violence.

"And we've enjoyed peace within the province until we had these two reports of tribal fights. It's not like other provinces where they've got constant tribal fights all over the provinces. Southern Highlands is okay, we've been maintaining peace ... we are able, it's within our means to control those two fights."

Sibron Papoto said illegal firearms in the Southern Highlands were normally brought across the Indonesian border.

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