Five killed in PNG as election tensions linger

3:46 pm on 5 August 2017

Five more people have been killed in election-related violence in Wabag in Papua New Guinea's Highlands.

Don Pomb Polye on the PNG  election trail

Supporters of Don Polye (right), who was ousted in the recent election, have been rampaging in Enga province. Photo: Supplied/ Wanpis Ako

Fighting flared up again on Wednesday when supporters of former MP Don Polye went on a rampage after the declaration of his opponent Alfred Manase as the winner for Kandep Open, in Enga province.

They burnt down dozens of houses in a village on Wabag's outskirts, Amala, where the Provincial Administrator, Samson Amean, is from.

According to EMTV, Mr Polye's supporters claimed that the administrator, as the Steering Committee Chairman, had advised the Returning Officer to proceed with the elimination count without counting seven disputed boxes.

The Karl tribe of Amala retaliated and shot dead three men from Kandep and two from the Kii tribe of Teremanda village.

It was alleged that members of the Kii tribe had been accommodating Mr Polye's supporters who, after Wednesday's rampage, had returned on Thursday to cause more destruction before security forces intervened.

A gunfight then broke out, causing the five deaths and injuring more than 20 people.

More than 500 security personnel are currently in Wabag to contain the fighting and clear roadblocks.

The Enga Provincial capital has been in lockdown for the past two weeks since four people, including two policemen, were killed.