30 Jun 2012

Three people killed amid rising tension in PNG election

6:44 am on 30 June 2012

Three people have been killed and tension is rising amongst supporters of candidates in the Tangu area of inland Bogia in Papua New Guinea's Madang Province.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the three were attacked Thursday evening with bush-knives and were helpless, with people fleeing in all directions in fear of their lives.

A fourth is believed to have escaped but is still missing.

The Bogia Open candidate Michael Kukurai Tataki is urging the killers to hand themselves in, to allow people to vote freely.

He says tension is high and the people are worried they won't be able to vote freely.

Mr Tataki says from information gathered the attackers are supporters of a candidate and started causing trouble at a polling booth at Murusapa.

Mr Tataki says of two of those killed were brothers and all were scrutineers of rival candidates.

In another election-related issue, Mr Tataki says that a whole village in the Malala area could not vote because none of their names were on the electoral roll.

He says on Manam Islands a village has been destroyed due to lava flowing from the nearby volcano.

Mr Tataki says lava has been flowing continuously for the past four days now and people there need help.