Officers shot at Porgera

TWO reservists from the police unit at Porgera in Enga Province are in hospital after they were ambushed and shot by gunmen on Sunday, police said.
Officers shot at Porgera Officers shot at Porgera Officers shot at Porgera Officers shot at Porgera Officers shot at Porgera

George Kakas

Staff Reporter

The National newspaper reported that Enga's acting police commander chief superintendent George Kakas said one of the reservists was shot in the leg while the other suffered a stroke when they were attacked near Wali Creek, a few kilometres from the Porgera gold mine's township.
 
The reservists in five patrol cars were going to investigate the aftermath of a violent confrontation between two tribes when they were attacked with automatic weapons, but no major injuries or fatalities were reported, Kakas said.
 
He said a bullet presumably fired from a high-powered rifle penetrated a patrol car and injured the officer's leg. The other reservist suffered a stroke during the incident.
 
The men were flown to Wabag hospital and are now recovering, The National reported.
 
Kakas said the incident had culminated from a stand-off between two tribes who were claiming ownership of the Mount Kare land where the Pogera mine is situated.
 
The Porgera joint venture is an open pit and underground gold mine about 130km west of Mount Hagen.
 
Barrick Niugini is the 95% owner of the Porgera joint venture, and is the manager of the operation. Barrick Gold Corporation and Zijin Mining Group each own 50% of Barrick Niugini. The remaining 5% interest in the Porgera joint venture is held by Mineral Resources Enga and is divided between the Enga provincial government (2.5%) and local landowners (2.5%).
 
A tribe embroiled in this feud allegedly attacked villagers from a neighbouring tribe, setting fire to some houses at Wali Creek.
 
Kakas said the reserve police officers and mine security personnel were dispatched to check on the safety of power pylons and water supply facilities when they were ambushed by gunmen from the surrounding mountains.
 
A peace and good order meeting was convened on Monday involving the provincial government, police and representatives of the Porgera mine.
 
Barrick Niugini was approached for comment yesterday but had not responded before this publication's deadline.
 

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