Vastavam web: Police and soldiers have been sent to Papua New Guinea’s highlands to make arrests and provide security after more than 20 people, mostly women and children, were slain in recent tribal violence over a feud that has lasted for years, officials said Wednesday. In the latest attack, 16 women and children were killed this week by assailants armed with rifles in the village of Karida in Hela province, said Papua New Guinea Acting Police Commissioner Francis Tokura.
Because two of the victims were pregnant, police put the death toll at 18. Officials differ on whether the attack happened on Sunday or Monday. Authorities say the slaughter was probably retaliation for an ambush near Peta village on Saturday that left six or seven people dead. Tokura said 20 police officers and 10 soldiers were sent to Hela to “stop any further violence and capture the killers.” “This is a tragedy. It is an unbelievable, unthinkable and atrocious criminal act that must be dealt with swiftly and severely,” Tokura said in a statement.