5 Apr 2011

PNG police launch inquiry after escaped murderer killed in shootout with officers

2:53 pm on 5 April 2011

Police in Papua New Guinea say they're investigating the shooting of an escaped murderer, and the burning of property in a raid that followed.

They say Samuel Manda was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police, in which two officers were also injured.

Highlands police say the shootout occurred after Manda and about eight others went into Mt Hagen city and slashed a security guard with a bushknife.

Local media reports say police damaged thousands of kina worth of property in a subsequent raid, and that property owners intend to sue.

But assistant police commissioner Simon Kauba says most of the properties were not permanent.

"Our reinforcements raided the area with a view of picking up other suspects who accompanied the murderer who was shot dead and in the process some makeshift homes, some shacks were set alight, a few of those places where we were suspecting they were harbouring those suspects."

Simon Kauba says he won't comment on whether the police action was lawful as it's the subject of an internal investigation.