Students among 14 killed


Two 10th graders were among 14 men killed at Onerungka village in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands, on Friday, according to police.
Two of them were chopped and burnt.
Eastern Highlands police commander Superintendent Alex N’Drasal confirmed the killings but was yet to receive a detailed report from Kainantu Police Station commander Inspector Peter Roari and police homicide investigators.
He said two Onerungka High School grade 10 students were among those killed.
“The attackers now at large were believed to be members of a tribal group that fled Onerungka following a fierce tribal fight some years ago,” N’Drasal said.
“They returned and settled at the fringes of the village and were called names such as ‘settlers’ or ‘refugees’.
“This angered the attackers who conducted a dawn raid last Friday to kill the 14 men, and chopped two of them and burnt them.”
He said the attack was also believed to be sorcery-related; the deceased who were accused of sorcery fled their village and were seeking refuge in Onerungka when they were attacked in the raid.
N’Drasal said the actual cause of the killings would be revealed after receiving the report.
He said the attackers were armed with spears, bows, arrows, bush knives and iron rods, and raided Onerungka village at around 3am.
“They knocked on every door, when the doors were opened every women and girls were ordered to move out while the men were attacked,” N’Drasal said.
He said Roari and the investigators were at the scene this week.
N’Drasal appealed to community and church leaders in the area to support police to arrest the suspects.
N’Drasal said the suspects were known to police and they wanted to surrender but were afraid of retaliation by relatives of the deceased.
“I am directing my senior officers’ and Roari to negotiate with community and church leaders to facilitate the suspects’ surrender, I am confident they will surrender to police very soon,” N’Drasal said.