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At least 26 killed in tribal fighting in Papua New Guinea


 |  Kathmandu

Papua New Guinea tribal violence (Photo Courtesy: ICRC)

At least 26 people were killed in a tribal violence in the northern highlands of Papua New Guinea, Australian media reported on Monday.

The men were killed in an ambush in the South Pacific nation's remote highlands of Enga Province on Sunday when their allies and mercenaries were on their way to attack a neighbouring tribe, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 

Initially, 53 people were reported to have been killed but security forces later revised the death toll down to 26, ABC reported citing Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Acting Superintendent George Kakas. It was not immediately clear whether any of the ambushers might be among the dead.

Bodies were collected from the battlefield, roads, and the riverside, then loaded onto police trucks and taken to the hospital. Kakas told ABC authorities were still counting “those who were shot, injured, and ran off into the bushes.”

Papua New Guinea is a diverse, developing nation of 10 million mostly subsistence farmers with 800 languages in a strategically important part of the South Pacific.

Tribal violence in the Enga region has intensified since elections in 2022 that maintained Prime Minister James Marape's administration. Elections and accompanying allegations of cheating and process anomalies have always triggered violence throughout the country.


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