12 dead in Hela clash

12 people have been confirmed dead in the tribal fighting in Tari-Pori district, Hela Province.

Since the killing of the LLG councillor on the 28th of March, a tribal warfare has now escalated in Tari Pori district.

This newsroom has been told that the death toll has steadily risen since the tribal fight started.

The recent killing occurred on April 5, where two people were killed. This brings the total number of fatalities to 12 while countless others have been hospitalised.

It was also revealed that the Tari General Hospital is now being run by the PNG Defence Force medical team after staff had vacated the premises in fear of their lives.

Relief efforts are still on hold as the military and other disciplinary forces ensure that the situation is under control.

A renowned warlord was also killed during the fighting, hence the situation has worsened with his relatives joining in as well.

Meantime, Emergency Controller Dr Bill Hamblin reiterated that although the situation has been contained from extreme to high, the environment is still hostile.

(Pictures supplied)

Imelda Wavik