The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
AN 11-year-old elementary school student has been chopped to death in a payback killing in Chimbu.
Highlands divisional police commander Supt Simon Kauba said the Kolma and Gikane tribes were at war after a Gikane man, and others, destroyed a Kolma market and chased women and children.
During a clash between the two tribes, stones were thrown which injured a Gikane man in the ribs. He died as a result of his injuries.
Kauba said relatives of the deceased retaliated by burning down 20 houses and destroyed coffee and food gardens belonging to the Kolma tribe.
The elementary student, Presen Yopa, was chopped to death by Gikane tribesmen after his parents left him behind when fleeing for their lives.
Two other children suffered axe and bush knife wounds and were taken to Kundiawa Hospital.
Police and peace mediators were sent to the area and were camping at the site to bring the two parties together.
Kauba said six people involved in the killing and attempted murders were identified by police and would be arrested shortly.
Meanwhile, in Mendi a man attacked by some youths from Unjamap jumped into Mendi River and drowned.
Kauba said the deceased tried to separate a couple fighting at Magani market when he was attacked.
The deceased had no way to escape and jumped into the river. His body was found downstream an hour later.
Police arrested five suspects and were questioning them.
In another matter, a young man who allegedly engaged in illegal activities at Moro, near the LNG project site, died after allegedly being beaten up by police.
He said Alex Kopeap, from Poiya village, in the Nipa district, had been admitted at the Pimaga health centre but was transferred to Mendi Hospital where he died last Friday.