6 Jul 2010

Shootings prompt tighter PNG airport security

2:11 pm on 6 July 2010

Security is being tightened at the airport of the Papua New Guinea capital following a shootout there on Friday.

Three people were shot and wounded at Jackson Airport in Port Moresby after an armed landowner group from the Southern Highlands reportedly arrived at the airport to confront other landowners who had just boarded a plane.

The group then turned on bystanders, shooting one person.

Two landowners were then injured in a shootout with police.

The incident follows the fatal shooting of a gold buyer at the airport last month.

Our correspondent Oseah Philemon says more police officers have now been assigned to the airport

"This latest one it's taken everyone by surprise and that's why police have now decided to beef up security putting policemen in there. Well there's a police station at the airport and there are policemen there but they are not actually stationed at the entrance where people go into the airport, that's under private security and civil aviation security."

Oseah Philemon says details of the land dispute that sparked the shootout are unclear, but it's a result of serious land issues surrounding oil and gas projects.