Eight women held captive in Hela


EIGHT women from West Sepik are being held in Hela after fighting broke out at the border of two provinces, according to West Sepik police commander Moses Ibsagi.
He said yesterday the women, from Kunanap village in Telefomin, West Sepik, were kidnapped by men from Hekali village in Lake Kopiago, Hela after Kunanap villagers allegedly killed a Hekali man last Friday.
Ibsagi said reports from Telefomin were sketchy “and so we don’t know the cause of the fight”.
“There was a tribal fight between these villages at the border,” he said.
“Kunanap is in West Sepik and Hekali is in Hela. During the fight, the Kunanap villagers allegedly killed a Hekali villager in the early hours of last Friday.
“The Hekali villagers later retaliated and kidnapped eight women from Kunanap village.
“These women are still being kept in captivity at Hekali village.”
Ibsagi said the situation was still tense and villagers from both sides had fled to seek refuge in neighboring villages.
“Police in Telefomin were unable to go to that area because there is no road. Assistance is needed from the joint security forces who are now on operation in Hela.
“That area is much closer to Hela.
“It is far for West Sepik police officers to be deployed.”
Meanwhile, police are investigating a break-in at the Papindo store in Vanimo.
Thieves broke in through the roof using a bolt cutter to enter the store last Friday at about 9pm.
“They went to the manager’s office and stole some money, mobile phones and some electronic gadgets and left through the roof again,”Ibsagi said.