By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
AT least five people died, others wounded and hundreds of families forced to flee their homes after a land row between two cousins developed into a violent confrontation in Tari-Pori, Hela.
Hela police commander Chief Insp Teddy Agwi said homes were also burnt on Wednesday in the Tagali local level government before fighting spilled over to Pinagia and Mulubi in the Tebi local level government.
“The fighting displaced (hundreds of) families who have now moved out from the area and are seeking shelter elsewhere,” Agwi said.
Tari-Pori MP James Marape, the Prime Minister, will be visiting Jiwaka today but it could not be confirmed last night if he will later visit his district.
Agwi told The National that the fighting began after two cousins, two weeks ago, had a row over a piece of land in Tagali.
“One picked up a homemade gun and shot the other killing him instantly,” he said.
“The (deceased cousin’s) family went into mourning and buried him on the disputed land.”
During the haus krai, the suspect came back shot the younger brother of his deceased cousin.
“The shooting angered those who were in the area and a fight broke out,” Agwi said.
“Two men, a woman and a child were killed.”
Police and soldiers went to the area to defuse the tension.
They were trying to bring out the deceased woman and the child when their vehicles ended up in a drain along the road.
“We spent another couple of hours (salvaging) the vehicles and left Tagali at 11pm on Wednesday,” Agwi said.
“We returned to Tari just after midnight and took the bodies to the Tari hospital morgue.”
The National later received unconfirmed reports that another woman and four men were killed bringing to 10 those killed during the two days.
Another man was reportedly shot and taken to the Tari Hospital.
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA