Youths protest in PNG

7:44 am on 10 November 2015

There was fear and panic in Papua New Guinea's Lae yesterday as hundreds of Morobe youths took to the city centre to protest against street vendors.

Street vendors in Papua New Guinea.

Street vendors in Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Post Courier reports that businesses and government offices closed as more than 300 youths converged on the city from different directions.

It says the protests caused fear in the business community, panic among residents and destruction to facilities.

Police, who were caught off guard, told the newspaper that five people from the Highlands were injured, two of them seriously, and had to be hospitalised.

The situation was tense last night, but the youths plan to present a petition to Governor Kelly Naru today.

Lae Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr has warned people not to take advantage of the situation but assured residents and businesses that police will be out in full force today to restore peace in the city.