By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
THREE people are dead, five injured and four houses razed as intense tribal fighting escalated out of control in North Fly’s Tabubil in Western on Saturday and over the Easter and Holy Weekend.
Policemen had to fire several rounds from their pistols to stop the warring tribal fighters armed with knives, iron bars, stones and other weapons.
North Fly commander Chief Insp Silva Sika told The National that a policeman was also told to go on leave to facilitate investigations into his alleged involvement in the fighting and for causing the tribal war.
He said a man from Kopiago was also arrested on Saturday in connection with the fighting and killings.
Chief Insp Sika said fighting started in a settlement known as Bak Corner near the road into Tabubil with a man killed and a woman slashed on both legs.
“Both man and woman are from Enga and were stabbed with a knife,” he said.
“The man died on the spot and the woman was rushed to hospital.
“The killing angered the man’s relatives and friends who rounded up the Tari tribe.
“The Enga-Tari tribes then launched a predawn attack on the people of Kopiago on Sunday.
“In the attack, two men were killed.
“A Kopiago killed a man from Enga by slashing him, and the Enga-Tari group killed a man from Kopiago before police arrived to try and ease the fighting.
“But the fighting continued despite efforts by police to quell the situation.
“Police had to discharge their firearms to stop the fighting.
“My men help remove the two bodies from the scene to the Tabubil mortuary.
“Four houses, belonging to Kopiago families, were torched and destroyed.”
Among the five injured, one from Kopiago suffered a gunshot wound with the other four Tari men had slash wounds inflicted by knives.
“The policeman is now being interrogated to determine his role in the initial fighting and killing,” Chief Insp Sika said.
He warned the people yesterday that police would resort to using force if they continued to fight.
“We cannot let this fighting to continue and disrupt the daily livelihood of other villagers.”
However, Chief Insp Sika said the community had surrendered several weapons and agreed to police investigations into the slayings.
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA