Man injured as police, army clash with supporters

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 19th, 2012

A MAN was injured and tyres of vehicles punctured after police and soldiers clashed with supporters of a candidate outside the Sir John Guise stadium on Tuesday night.
National Capital District metropolitan commander Supt Peter Guinness confirmed the clash but said police and soldiers had been threatened by the supporters.
“Police saw firearms in one of the vehicles and they responded,” Guinness said.
“We (police) will not back down from threats from candidates or their supporters.”
Albert Girimai, a scrutineer for Moresby Northeast sitting MP Andrew Mald, said police officers and soldiers arrived in four vehicles and confronted them at around 9pm.
He said the attack on supporters was the second time the security officers had turned on them at the same venue.
Some of Mald’s supporters camping outside the stadium were beaten up.
A Moses Ajape from Tari was hit in the leg with a bush knife.
Three vehicles belonging to Mald’s supporters had their tyres punctured by the security officers.
Another scrutineer Spenser Oka from Western Highlands said police fired at them.
He said the officers were the same people who had been issued a court order and told not to enter the counting area.
Guinness said because of the incident, he had issued instructions to police to remove all supporters of candidates camping outside the stadium.
“You cannot change the results of the counting,” Guinness told the supporters.
“Go to your homes and let the election officials do their jobs.”