By GYNNIE KERO
and MARJORIE FINKEO
A LAWYER attached with the Milne Bay government was one of the two men killed as thugs again caused havoc Alotau town.
Acting provincial police commander Inspector George Bayagau said the town had been shut down with all business houses closed.
He confirmed that the lawyer, whose name has been withheld, was driving in a car with his wife towards the Alotau Elementary School around 6.30pm on Tuesday, when they were confronted by a group of men travelling in an unmarked vehicle. They shot him.
“He only arrived in Alotau around the middle of last year. (The motive for the) killing is unclear,” he said.
Bayagau said the thugs later razed eight homes and a vehicle at the police barracks on Misima Street, looted a shop and damaged an automated teller machine (ATM).
A shootout with police lasted three hours in which a suspect was killed and others injured.
He said the thugs also broke into the Boboana Trading Store owned by Asians and looted it.
They also damaged the ATM at the Alotau International Hotel and removed cash.
“I am appealing to the public not to loot shops damaged in the incident as it is illegal,” he said.
He said a police unit deployed from Port Moresby last year to boost manpower had gone back last week.
“We are waiting if the police unit from Port Moresby will be sent back here to help us.”
National Airport Corporation managing director Richard Yopo said they were monitoring the situation in Alotau as it could affect passengers coming to or from the airport.
“In the interim, Gurney airport is operational and open for aircraft operations. NAC Staff on the ground at Gurney are in constant contact with NAC HQ and should the situation change, we will close the airport.”
By GYNNIE KERO