Papua New Guinea police chief attacked, houses torched in response

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Assistant Commissioner Giossi Labi, acting divisional police commander for the Mamose region of Papua New Guinea, as well as his son Elias and two other relatives were attacked by a group armed with guns and bush-knives (machetes) who demanded money in the early morning of January 13, at Voco Point beach, Lae.

Mr. Labi told The National on January 14:

Cquote1.svg My son and the two men were standing outside of the vehicle when the armed gang of about 11 approached them and ordered them at gunpoint to lie on the ground. Then they came to me and demanded money from me. As I opened the door of the vehicle and got out one of them stabbed me on my right shoulder three times and I retaliated and hit one of them. Then another came and swung a bush-knife at me and I ducked avoid the blow but was slashed on my forehead and right cheek. One of the assailants charged at me from behind with a bayonet and my son who was lying on the ground got up and tackled him to the ground and I realised that we were in big trouble with blood dripping down my face and I ran towards the Lutheran Shipping main office to ask for help. Cquote2.svg

Elias and the other two men were stabbed in the back while lying on the ground.

Police arrested ten suspects, four of which were released after questioning.

22 houses in Keks settlement, of which the attackers are alleged to be residents, were burnt to the ground in response to the attack, destroying the property of 36 people. Lae police commander Superintendent Simon Kauba denied any police involvement, saying that the houses were destroyed by people from nearby areas frustrated with persistent crime.

Sources

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