Police in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands province say they're unable to staunch the flow of illegal weapons into the region, like those they suspect were used in two recent, deadly attacks.
Last week, three men were killed 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 Southern Highlands chief superintendent, Sibron Papoto, said the weapons are smuggled over the Indonesian border.
"I cannot deny the fact that there is so much build of weapons, not only here in the province, but especially up in the Highlands. Even if we do arrest the suspect, we will get them, the weapon will definitely be hidden away. It will never be retrieved."
Sibron Papoto said the recent gun violence in Southern Highlands has ended a peaceful two year period in the province.