Updated February 19th, 2024 at 08:33 IST

Papua New Guinea Tribal Violence: Over 50 Killed in Fight Between 2 Tribes, Toll Likely to Rise

The dead bodies were recovered from the battlefield, roads, and the riverside. Officials assume that the numbers will go up to 60 or 65.

Reported by: Digital Desk
A senior official said that these tribesmen have been killed all over the countryside and bush. | Image:X
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Melbourne: A major escalation of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea claimed the lives of at least 53 individuals, news agency AP reported citing Australian media.

The dead bodies were recovered from the battlefield, roads, and the riverside. Officials assume that the numbers will go up to 60 or 65.

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The violence erupted on Sunday in the Enga province of the remote highlands, after a tribe, its allies, and mercenaries were on their way to attack a neighbouring tribe when but were ambushed in the mid-way.

A senior official said that these tribesmen have been killed all over the countryside and bush. The official added that this could highest death toll from such violence in the highlands.

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Tribal violence in the Enga region has intensified since the 2022 elections that maintained PM James Marape's administration. Elections and allegations of cheating and process anomalies have always triggered violence throughout the country.

The South Pacific nation of 10 million people with 800 languages has been continuously facing problems related to internal security challenges for its government as China, the United States, and Australia seek closer security ties.

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Following the violence, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government was ready to assist Papua New Guinea,

“That is very disturbing the news that has come out of Papua New Guinea,” Albanese said.

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“We remain available to provide whatever support we can in a practical way, of course, to help our friends in PNG,” he added.

(With AP inputs)

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 08:33 IST