20 Aug 2013

Tribal violence in PNG's Western Highlands province

7:57 pm on 20 August 2013

Violent clashes between two tribes have broken out in the capital of Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands province.

Reports emerging from Mt Hagen say the city's airport is closed after gunmen took over the air control tower.

The Highlands Highway has been closed as well, as fighting between the Jika and Moge tribes continues.

This follows protests against results in Local Level Government elections.

PNG's Electoral Commission last week declared failed LLG elections in five Western Highlands districts, including both the Hagen Urban and Rural wards.

The Commission cited problems such as widespread violence between supporters of rival candidates, intimidation against voters, as well as hijacking and destruction of ballot boxes, as being among the reasons for failed elections.