17 Mar 2004

Four dead, hundreds of houses destroyed in tribal fighting in PNG

2:27 pm on 17 March 2004

In Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands province over five hundred houses have been burnt down, and four people have been killed, in tribal fighting.

The Post Courier newspaper says the fight happened after an attack by the Enga Rami tribe on land occupied by the Enga Maip Kumbu tribe in the Baiyer district.

The Post Courier's reporter says that the four dead, who were taken to the Mt Hagen Hospital morgue, had gun wounds, knife cuts and burns.

The paper says the fate of many others is unknown as they fled into the jungle.

It says all the able bodied men in the Maip Kumbu tribe had left their village for a compensation ceremony in another village, and the Enga Rami tribe took advantage of this and staged a raid.