3 Jun 2011

PNG police too thinly stretched to stop sorcery-related killings

9:04 am on 3 June 2011

Papua New Guinea police say they are hard-pressed to counter the type of inter-tribal attack that led to a double murder on the outskirts of the capital at the weekend.

The Sunday morning murder of two men in their early twenties in Port Moresby's Bautama area is being linked to allegations of sorcery.

It came just a few hours after another double murder in the same area.

Police say the deaths came after a plan by people from Goilala to attack a Koiari family which had been blamed for using sorcery against a Goilala woman.

A police spokesman Dominic Kakas, says communities are reluctant to give evidence to police about the attacks.

"We are trying to counter that and basically the rule of law stands - you can't take someone else's life, regardless of whatever your grievances are. We're making that known. But we are spread thinly around the country. We can't be everywhere and in some instances, we are overpowered and actually some of these killings have happened right in front of our eyes. But we really can't do much."