About 10 soldiers in civilian clothes arrived in a Toyota Land Cruiser ute, bearing the registration plate BER 058 and stormed into the Waigani police station and assaulted two duty policemen.
DCP (operations chief) Andrews said the policemen sustained serious injuries on their head and limbs, were treated and released from the Port Moresby General Hospital last night.
He said the soldiers, apparently frustrated over delays by police to settle a feud between members of the two forces, had decided to take matters into their own hands.
The attack also prompted opportunists from the nearby informal Waigani market to hurl rocks into the police station, causing some damage.
Police reinforcements arrived after the attack and removed the make-shift market stalls at the market which according to DCP Andrews had become havens for criminals.
“The Constabulary is trying to liaise with the NCD Commission to verify the status of this market with the intention of permanently closing it down,” Mr Andrews said.
The police chief said yesterday’s incident had stemmed from an incident which happened a fortnight ago in which a soldier allegedly under the influence of alcohol and being disorderly in public, is said to have sustained injuries in a scuffle after resisting police arrest.
After this first incident, the soldier mobilized his comrades and returned to the Waigani police station demanding compensation from police. After waiting for two weeks’ the soldiers went back yesterday and caused rampage.
“Such unethical and unlawful acts should not be allowed to creep into the disciplinary forces. This type of behaviour is totally absurd and I am requesting the PNGDF management to look into this matter urgently.
“We must work together to stop such unlawful attacks by members of the disciplinary forces against each other, ordinary members of the public, businesses and other state institutions,” he added.
A proper investigation would be undertaken to verify the circumstances leading up to yesterday’s rampage and this would include allegations of police abuses causing the soldier’s injuries.