Town authority vehicle set alight at Barola


POLICE in Eastern Highlands are investigating the burning of a vehicle belonging to the Goroka Town Authority during a roadblock at the notorious Barola section of the Highlands Highway last Sunday.
Provincial police commander Superintendent David Seine Jr confirmed there were no casualties but the vehicle was set on fire by an armed gang.
He said earlier on Sunday a group of soldiers who were travelling on the road were attacked by an armed gang, the soldiers shot at them. They went off, re-grouped and came to the roadblock. Seine said gang members set up roadblocks and attacked vehicles that passed by. Several of them sustained bullets and stones.
“I sent a police investigation team that is currently carrying investigations. I appeal to the locals of Barola to cooperate with the investigation team to bring the suspects to face justice,” Seine said.
Goroka town manager Harold Abori said his deputy manager Steven Toaaniso and four other senior officers were attacked while travelling back from Lae on the day.
Abori said gang members rushed to the vehicle armed with guns, bush knives, sticks and stones and attacked them and set the vehicle on fire.
“They ordered the officers to lay flat on the road and hit them hard with the flat-side of the bush knives, luckily another vehicle caught their attention and the officers escaped.
“I appeal to community leaders at the Barola area to surrender the culprits and appeal to Kainantu MP Johnson Tuke and his district administration to help us buy a new vehicle to replace the one that was burnt,” Abori said.