Violent Unrest Claims Fifteen Lives In Papua New Guinea’s Capital And Lae

Fifteen people have lost their lives as rioting erupted in Papua New Guinea’s capital of Port Moresby and the second-largest city, Lae. 

The unrest, marked by widespread looting and arson, has left local business owners grappling with extensive damages.

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The violent outbreak began after hundreds of people flooded the streets, resulting in the torching of shops and businesses in Port Moresby. 

According to an update from Lae Metro Command, eight people lost their lives in the capital, while another seven died in Lae. 

Paramedics responded to multiple calls involving severe burns and gunshot wounds, describing the situation as a “significant emergency”.

Disturbing videos depict warehouses engulfed in flames and large crowds engaging in looting and rioting. 

Some footage even captured rioters attempting to breach the gates of the prime minister’s office in Port Moresby.

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During a press conference, Prime Minister James Marape acknowledged that “police were not at work yesterday”.

The unrest followed a peaceful demonstration by police, defence, and other public servants at Parliament House on Wednesday.

The aftermath of the violence also left local business owners facing extensive repair bills.

As the National Security Advisory Committee and the National Security Council meet to discuss recommendations, Mr Marape pledged to announce certain measures and explore state of emergency arrangements for the city and urban areas.

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