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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

64 dead in Papua New Guinea tribal violence

  • Police say bodies have been found along a stretch of road in Papua New Guinea's remote highlands
  • The incident occurred near the village of Wapenamanda, about 600 kilometres northwest of the capital Port Moresby
Update : 19 Feb 2024, 03:27 PM

Dozens of bloodied bodies have been found along a remote stretch of road in Papua New Guinea's highlands, police said on Monday, a gruesome escalation of long-running violence between warring clans.

Police said as many as 64 tribal fighters had been killed in an ambush by a rival group in the early hours of Sunday, although officials later said the number was still unclear.

The incident occurred near the village of Wapenamanda, about 600 kilometres northwest of the capital Port Moresby.

The rugged and lawless area has been the scene of tit-for-tat mass killings between rival Sikin, Ambulin, Kaekin and other tribesmen for years -- with each retaliatory attack fuelling a fresh round of atrocities.

Police images from the scene showed dozens of stripped and bloodied bodies lying by the side of the road and piled up on the back of a flatbed truck.

Some men had limbs hacked and were left naked by the road with beer bottles or cans placed on their chests.

Police reported gunfights were ongoing in nearby valleys and bodies were still being recovered, leading to confusion about the number of people killed.

Senior police and cabinet officials said the toll was between 49 and 64 tribesmen.

"The total number of dead and injured is still being assessed as police recover further remains from dense scrubland," Police Commissioner David Manning said late Monday.

Describing the incident as a "disgraceful act of barbarity," Manning said additional security personnel had been deployed to the area to restore order.

"These personnel have clear instructions that are to use any level of force required to prevent further violence and payback," he said.

"This includes the use of up to deadly force when the lives of civilians or security personnel are threatened."

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