8 hurt, homes destroyed in clash

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A CLASH between two gangs in Kimbe, West New Britain (WNB), has left eight people injured, two seriously with gunshot wounds and 10 homes destroyed. The homes were set on fire by the youths involved in the rivalry. Police Minister William Onglo and Police Commissioner David Manning told The National that a team from the Tomaringa Mobile Squad base in East New Britain would be accompanied by the New Guinea Islands acting ACP Paul Kamuai to WNB. “A squad should be in the province from East New Britain by today,” Comm Manning said. According to deputy town mayor and ward one councillor Korak Mekori the fight is between rival gangs from Zone 1 and 8 in the Gigo ward – all in the Kimbe urban local level government.“The fighting has affected the movement of innocent men, women and children,” he said. “The fighting has brought in youths from Laleki, Section 10, Works and Section 21, siding with either Zone 1 or 8.”A few weeks ago, The National reported the death of a youth, with another injured after the same gangs fought. This time however, the fight has involved other areas, and is expected to spill into the Kimbe township soon, Korak said. “We have tried speaking to the youths but it is falling on deaf ears, we need assistance from the police.” Women representative and local businesswoman Kelenes Karawan did not mince her words, saying the fight was affecting innocent lives, and it clearly showed there was no local government support. “Kimbe town has seen no peace and it will not unless the local leaders come together and come out and address this issue, this fighting has to stop,” she said. Video footage of the fight shows youths fighting and throwing sticks, stones and whatever missiles they could find. The situation remains tense.