Gunfight at Wabag town

Wabag town in Enga Province turned into a battlefield this morning when supporters of two candidates confronted each other with high-powered guns.

This followed the attempted murder of Kandep district returning officer Ben Besawe and other officials.

Eyewitnesses and security personnel said Besawe and two other election officials were shot at in front of a guest house at Wabag town. This occurred while they were preparing to make their way to the counting venue at Wabag Primary School.

The incident led to a clash between supporters of two candidates from Kandep who have been at loggerheads over election-related matters.

Medical officers at Wabag hospital said three election officials, including Besawe, are being treated at the emergency ward with bullet wounds.

Enga police chief superintendent, George Kakas, was not available to comment. However, election officials and security personnel on the ground said more than five people, including two policemen, were later injured in the crossfire.

Meanwhile, counting remains suspended as other candidates and local leaders call for more security personnel to be deployed to Enga to fast track counting.

(Security personnel addressing a recent peaceful protest regarding the counting of Kandep ballot boxes – Picture: PNG Opposition)

Freddy Mou