SHP records first election-related death


SOUTHERN Highlands has recorded the first election-related killing on Tuesday afternoon after a man was chopped to death and his body mutilated in the Mendi-Munihu district.
Southern Highlands police commander Chief Supt Sibron Papoto confirmed the incident and said the reason behind the killing was yet to be confirmed.
He said Mendi MP De Kewanu was moving with his supporters in a convoy of vehicles and at Nol village in the Lai Valley LLG and for unknown reasons the villagers ambushed the last vehicle.
“They were armed with high-powered guns and bush knives and ran towards the last vehicle (an open back Land Cruiser) and attacked everyone on the vehicle.
“The others fled into the bushes, some with bush-knife wounds and the deceased was repeatedly chopped into pieces,” Papoto told The National.
He said the attack may have been planned and police would get to the bottom of it.
He said police officers in Mendi had gone to the area to retrieve the vehicle and identify suspects involved in the killing.
“I condemn the killing as it is inhuman and a barbaric act. I will make sure these senseless people are apprehended and locked behind bars.
“We have talked a lot about a free, fair and safe election and this is not good. My police officers will make sure those responsible face the full force of the law.”
Papoto appealed to both parties not to disturb school students and touch government properties. A police unit has been sent to Mogol Secondary School to provide security as the situation was still tense and it is likely students would be targeted.

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