10 Feb 2006

Families of PNG college staff attacked and robbed, classes suspended

12:54 pm on 10 February 2006

Classes at a college in the Papua New Guinea province of Western Highlands have been suspended for an indefinite period, following two separate attacks on the family of staff members.

The National reports that the attacks on family of staff from the Holy Trinity Teachers College in Mt Hagen were believed to have been carried out by criminal elements in the local community.

Senior lecturer Mack Poka's family was attacked and robbed by a group of masked men armed with ammunition on Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, deputy principal Michael Homingu's house was also robbed in a similar fashion, believed to be orchestrated by the same group.

The attacks are believed to have stemmed from an earlier demand by the local people for 20 of their students to be enrolled at the college after missing out on earlier selections.

The administration, however, turned down the request, explaining that the college can only cater for 130 students a year.

Mt Hagen police believe that the two incidents are related and have appealed for information to help track down the attackers.