MOBILE squad 11 (MS11) from Wabag in Enga province arrived in Tari last Thursday to quell rising lawlessness in the Hela region of the Southern Highlands province.
Provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said the 35-man squad under the command of Insp Timothy Mataro would help in the fight against the recent increase in armed robberies by heavily armed warriors and gangs.
The main areas of these crimes have been along the Tari to Mt Ambua section of the Highlands Highway into Mendi and at Kobalu-Idawi sections of the highway leading southwest from Tari town to Hides and Angore gas fields, Nogoli and Komo station.
Last Friday morning, there was a shoot-out between MS09 personnel and about 300 heavily armed warriors who set up an armed road-block about 100m from the Kobalu forward base.
Kobalu is the supply centre for the construction of the multi-billion-kina PNG LNG project that would see gas piped from Hides (PDL1), Hides 4 (PRL 12) and Angore (PRL11) gas fields to the LNG processing facility thousands of kilometres away at Portion 152 in Porebada outside Port Moresby.
Police in Tari also reported mounting tension between warring clans at Waralo, Haro and Tani villagers following the violent tribal battle two weeks ago.