Joint forces halt looting at Lae’s Two-Mile

Vandalism and attempted looting at the Bugandi Industrial Park, at Lae’s Two-Mile, was halted by joint security forces this morning.

Units from the Royal PNG Constabulary and the PNG Defence Force responded to reports of a gathering crowd at Two-Mile at around 9am.

Backup was called when it was obvious that the crowd size was too big; over 200 men, women and children were loitering around the area.

Police reported that these settlers had walked as far as Eight-Mile in the early hours of this morning, in the hopes of gaining entry into the nearby shops and business houses. While the building suffered some damages, the security forces were able to clear the area quickly by firing warning shots and tear gas.

Assistant Commissioner of Police – Northern Command, Peter Guinness, was on site to speak to the group, telling them to vacate the area and return home.

“There is nothing for you here,” he told the group. “It’s not that big of an issue to warrant your presence here. I want all of you to go back to your respective areas.”

While the ACP was talking, warning shots were fired within the industrial park.

“You see, there is no need to get hurt. Move away from here!”

The soldiers and police personnel started to slowly herd the crowd towards Three-Mile, yelling at stragglers to keep up.

Most officers convoyed in vehicles while others went on foot, escorting commuters along the way – from Two-Mile to Six-Mile.

There some vehicles turned back to the city while others continued on with ACP Guinness.

The Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry advised that ACP Guinness is traveling up the highway into Eastern and Western Highlands. He said Hagen is to be avoided at present.

“Lae is settling down with hotspots being managed by the RPNGC and PNGDF,” said LCCI. 

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