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Police are currently investigating the deaths of four men, one from Goilala in Central province killed last evening, and three others believed to be from the Highlands Region killed in a retaliatory attack along the Hiritano Highway in Central province this morning.

According to the police briefing, there was an altercation between PMV crew and passengers and some men from Goilala at around 6pm to 7pm last evening at a place called Martins along Hiritano Highway that led to the killings.

Whether the first victim was run over by the bus or if he was attacked is still being investigate. Police are notable to interview those at the scene as the people have already fled to their homes after learning of the incident this morning.

Police were informed of the incident and a unit from Central province managed to stop the bus along the Highway. Occupants on the bus had already escaped while the driver was apprehended. He will assist Police in identifying those involved.

Meanwhile, Central Police patrolled both sides of the Highway and directed PMVs with other road users not to travel and await Police to clear the area. They were told to stay put until the morning when Police would patrol and provide escort for all vehicles.

However early this morning, a couple of PMVs decided to drive through returning to Port Moresby when they were attacked along Doa Plantation Road. There, the other three men who were passengers on one of the PMVs, were killed during the confrontation.

Divisional Commander NCD & Central, Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Wagambie Junior, said this incident has now caused inconvenience to the many people from Kairuku, Mekeo, Beraina and Gulf province traveling along the highway to and from Port Moresby.

“Nevertheless, life has been lost in tragic circumstances. I have directed PPC Central, Chief Inspector Tapp Opai to ensure that this matter is dealt with immediately.”

“I appeal to our people living along the Hiritano Highway, especially the Goilala people to allow free flow of traffic. The Highway belongs to everyone. There are many people being stranded on both sides.”

Wagambie said police will maintain presence in the area and after a thorough assessment, vehicles will be allowed to travel, with police remaining in the area.

“The province of origin of the three men who were killed is still unknown at this stage. We expect more information once relatives come forward after identifying the deceased.”

“I appeal to our communities and leaders in NCD, to ensure peace prevails. Allow Police to deal with the situation.” “I have also directed Metropolitan Superintendent NCD to have Police units patrol areas where these ethnic groups live so as to avert any more violence.”

November 27, 2020