“This was a very vicious attack on defenceless men, women and children and must be strongly condemned. Additional police manpower will be sent into the area to beef up the police numbers already on the ground and to build cases against perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Commissioner Manning said.
“My thoughts and prayers go to the communities in the area in these very trying times,” Commissioner Manning said.
Police in Porgera said unconfirmed reports say five people, including a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor, were killed and three were injured in the Taronga village of Paiela.
It was reported on Monday, 2nd of March, that a group of SDAs from Komanga village were on their way to the Porgera station to attend a church program when they were attacked.
Porgera Police claim the attack was in relation to ongoing tribal conflicts around the Paiela area. The alleged attackers who had ambushed the victims were believed to be from the Taronga village.
According to police in Porgera, there is no formal report or complaint lodged with police and due to the remoteness of the area, police were not able to attend to the incident and collect information.
Senior Sergeant Jack Kimala said from Porgera that it would take about three to four days to walk to Paiela from Porgera because there is no proper road access. He said Police had received phone calls from a number of people from the area trying to give information however, coverage was not good and they were not able to get full details of the incident.
The District Law and Order Committee and police have sent local village court magistrates into the villages to verify the information.
Tribal conflicts around the Paiela area are still ongoing and police and the Porgera District Administration are working together to minimise this, says Sergeant Kimala.