Locals attack police

National, Normal

TWO police officers from Lae were ambushed in a remote part of Morobe province, when they were called to investigate a cult activity.
Mobile squad 13 and Rural Patrol Unit officers were deployed to Sialum to investigate and round up suspects when they were ambushed at Kip village in the hinterland of Sialum.
Two mobile squad officers received arrow wounds to their back and stomach respectively and are recovering at the Angau Memorial Hospital.
The officers were attacked as they were driving into the village by the locals with bows and arrows, spears and guns, Momase police chief ACP Giossi Labi said.
The road into the village was only wide enough for a vehicle to pass through, making it difficult for the police to turn around when they came under attack.
The officers retaliated resulting in an intense exchange of gun fire for about an hour when the officers were wounded .
ACP Labi said they did not know if there were any casualties on the other side.
He said the provincial police commander had been instructed to send reinforcement to control the situation.
He said the public servants at Kalasa station, including school teachers, were moved to Sialum for safety reasons.
Mr Labi said there was a lack of service delivery by leaders to the rural population.
“People resort to cult activities to help themselves and this is a clear example of Government’s failure to provide the basic services,” ACP Labi said.
He also appealed to the MPs in the province to use their government district support improvement programme funds properly, especially at the rural areas.
Similar cult activities were reported in the Watut, Wau area, last month where the cult leader allegedly roam the area naked and allowed his villagers to do the same including having sex with women in open spaces.
Police from Wau visited the area and brought the matter under control.