PRE-XMAS violence left nine people, including a policeman, dead in Madang, Enga, West New Britain and Eastern Highlands over the weekend.
The killing of Police Constable Franko Horaki, 27, in Madang’s Wagol Fikus on Friday left a trail of destruction that included the torching of a market and more than 30 houses.
The other bloody killings occurred in:
ENGA – Mass killings left six people dead, including a 10-year-old boy and two teenage girls aged 14 and 16;
WEST New Britain – The San Remo Club (nightclub) manager who was shot dead; and,
EASTERN Highlands – A 35-year-old woman who was stabbed to death by her husband with a Rambo-like knife.
In Madang, police commander Mazuc Rubiang said PC Horaki, from Lufa’s Nambaiufa in Eastern Highlands-Chimbu, was assaulted and stabbed to death in Mildas Market at about 11am on Friday.
“Horaki who had just completed his night shift duty had gone to the market (behind the police station) to get something when he found some youths consuming illegal homebrew and making a nuisance of themselves. He then stopped them from drinking.
“As he was stepping out of the market gate, one of the youths pounced on Horaki from behind and hit him on the head with a piece of wood.
Another youth rushed up and stabbed him on the chest just under his arm,” he added.
He said Horaki was rushed to the hospital in a police vehicle but died minutes after admission.
Rubiang said Horaki’s relatives retaliated and more than 30 houses belonging to settlers near the Wagol Bridge were torched.
People from Kambaramba in Madang town also lost their homes in fires and Wagol settlers were reported to have gathered at a roundabout, stopping and damaging vehicles yesterday morning.
Police have seized control of the area but Madang town remained tense.
In Enga, the unrest and killings were blamed on ongoing feuds between two major tribal warlords.
Bodies were recovered in Pinu River near Mt Kare bordering Enga and Hela.
The six innocent men, woman and children killed were believed to be from Pori LLG and were on their way home from Porgera though Mtt Kare, a traditional access route.
The bodies were taken back to Porgera and Paiam hospital mortuary.
Similar “mass murders” also occurred this year in Tari Pori’s Karida Village in Hela.
Enga’s acting police commander Supt Epenes Nili told The National that he heard about the killings reported near Mt Kare.
“I have yet to get a report from my police station commander.”
In Kimbe, at least six masked armed assailants raided the San Remo nightclub on Saturday night and shot dead the manager in front of his wife and horrified patrons who had stayed back after a children’s Christmas party earlier in the evening.
The raiders are believed to have robbed the patrons of a few handphones and wallets but they did look for the till or safe.
The manager, identified only as Jeremy (a father of five), was in the security room monitoring the closed circuit TV when the armed men stormed the club.
Jeremy rushed out to defend his family members and friends armed with only a bamboo lantern post and was shot at close range.
West New Britain police commander John Midi confirmed that the incident occurred inside the club.
“The gunmen entered the club from the beach front and are believed to have fled in a boat,” he added.
Eastern Highlands police commander Supt David Seine Jr said a man in his 50s was arrested for allegedly stabbing his 35-year-old wife to death with a “Rambo” knife at about 1pm on Saturday.
The murder suspect, Par Kagl, is from Kerowagi’s Mingende Village in Chimbu and his wife, Rose Apa, was from Western Highlands-Chimbu parentage.
Supt Seine said Kagl had come to Goroka in search of Apa following a marital feud.
Apa’s biological uncle, Joe Didongo, told The National that relatives wanted Kagl to face the full brunt of the law.
“Apa, after completing grade 10, went into small to medium enterprises in Chimbu, National Capital District and Western Highlands.
She met her husband in Port Moresby through Facebook.
“From what her relatives know, the husband restricted Apa’s freedom and that caused marital problems.
“She sought regular counselling from Kundiawa police Family and Sexual Violence.”