The National – Friday, February 11, 2011
By DAVID TERRY of police media
A YOUNG policeman was murdered and his body thrown into the fast-flowing Kagul River in Kaupena along the border of Western Highlands and Southern Highlands at about 4pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Police confirmed yesterday that 25-year-old probationary constable Isaac Mambi, from Katiloma village in Kagua, Southern Highlands, was attacked by more than 50 knife-wielding tribesmen who mutilated his body and threw it into the river.
Another policeman, identified as James Wali from Kopiago, also in Southern Highlands, escaped with axe wounds. A police high-powered A2 rifle was stolen.
LNG operations officer Snr Insp Michael Tilae said four policemen and five security guards, manning the checkpoint at the Paunda power plant, were alerted by informants of bootleggers trying to smuggle liquor into Southern Highlands by crossing the river on foot. The policemen and security guards went to investigate by trekking downstream.
When they confronted the suspects, villagers numbering more than 50 gathered around them and one threw a snake at Mambi, which startled him.
Police witnesses at the site said when he tried to brush away the snake, he was attacked and his weapon retrieved.
His colleagues fired warning shots but the assailants continued to attack Mambi with knives, before throwing his corpse into the river.
Police reinforcements went to Kaupena yesterday morning and arrested four people including the driver and crew of a vehicle suspected of smuggling the liquor.
Police investigations are continuing.