Deadly tribal violence erupts in Papua New Guinea

A road in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has responded with outrage over the killings of 22 people, including two pregnant women, in tribal violence prime minister James Marape has called the "saddest day of his life".

At least 24 people are confirmed to have died in a brutal flare-up of violence between rival tribes over several days in Hela province.

"Today is one of the saddest days of my life, many children and mothers innocently murdered in Munima and Karida villages of my electorate by Haguai, Liwi and OKiru gunmen", he said.

Mr Marape, who became leader in May, blamed a lack of police on the ground as a major problem in a region that has struggled with violence for years.

The motive for the killings is now no longer yet known.

During the last years, the inflow of automatic weapons has made clashes extra lethal and escalated the cycle of violence.

In the latest attack, 16 women and children were killed this week by assailants armed with rifles in the village of Karida in Hela province, said Papua New Guinea Acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura.

Recently-appointed Marape, who is from the province, said the government would step up security deployments to the area.

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"It was retaliation of a previous attack".

"I wake up in the morning, go to make a fire in my kitchen, at the same time I heard the sound of guns, then I saw some of the houses they were burning, so I knew that enemies are already inside the village", Pimua said.

Many villagers had fled the violence, Hela Administrator William Bando told the newspaper.

"How can a province of 400,000 of us feature with policing regulations and expose with below 60 policemen, and espresso operational protection power and police that does no higher than band abet maintenance", he added. Communities are restful based entirely around tribal traditions and heaps little villages include never had avenue connections.

In 2018, an quake devastated a number of the faraway areas.

United States oil and gasoline firm ExxonMobil operates a pure gasoline processing plant in the effect where the bloodbath took situation however halted constructing on a pipeline final 365 days on memoir of unrest.

Papua New Guinea is among the poorest countries of Asia with about 40 per cent of the population living on less than $1 a day, according to the UN.

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