Angry youths destroy boom gate and border guard house

National, Normal

The National – Monday, July 4th 2011

 POLICE said angry youths in Vanimo, West Sepik, dismantled the boom gate between the Wutung border post and military checkpoint and set alight an abandoned guardhouse.

Police in Vanimo said the incident happened last Friday and was in retaliation to an alleged attack on young boys from Wutung who were captured by Papua New Guinea military officials during a patrol along the border last Thursday evening.

Reports from the province said the village boys were spotted on their motorbikes between 7pm and 8pm, well past the 5pm curfew.

“They were returning to their villages on their bikes when they were spotted by the PNG Defence Force patrol officers who approached them, took them in and kept them under house arrest at the military compound,” an officer from the province said.

He said police at Wutung had received a full report on the incident and were looking into it.

But he could not confirm whether the boys were assaulted for breaking the curfew.

“The gates close at 5pm every afternoon, which is the curfew time, and the boys were clearly in violation of the security measure,” the officer said.

He said police at Wutung were working with military personnel in resolving the issue.

The provincial police commander and defence force chief could not be reached for comments.