Dozens killed in Papua New Guinea tribal unrest


Local officials said at least 24 people had been killed in Hela province in the west of the country.

The death toll and dates of the violence in the remote highland province of Hela varied in reports by ABC and the local Post-Courier newspaper.

Prime Minister James Marape promised to hunt down the gunmen.

It is one of the worst outbreaks of tribal violence in PNG for years.

Grisly photos depicting the aftermath of an ambush killing in the village of Karida in the highland province were shared on Facebook.

Over the past years, the influx of automatic weapons has made clashes more deadly and escalated the cycle of violence. "Today is one of the saddest days of my life", he said on social media.

On Monday, an attack in the village of Karida left 16 dead, including children and two pregnant women.

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

Tokura added that the police will use "all available resources to bring the killers to justice", and that the Hela Provincial police commander ordered a team of 30 men, comprising of soldiers from the PNG Defense Force and local police "to stop any further violence and capture the killers".

"It was retaliation of a previous attack".

Mr Marape warned the attackers their "time is up".

Traditional Papua New Guinea tribal dancers performing at the airport as they await the arrival of China President Xi Jingping in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, November 15, 2018. Communities are still based on tribal traditions and most small villages have no road connections.

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

The motivation behind the attack is not yet clear, but many fights in the region are fueled by old rivalries prompted by theft or disputes over tribal boundaries.

Nevertheless whereas clans enjoy fought every other for a long time or centuries, the severity of the violence has shy Papua Recent Guinea.

U.S. oil and gasoline firm ExxonMobil operates a pure gasoline processing plant within the space where the bloodbath took residing however halted construction on a pipeline final year thanks to unrest.

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