PNG military to probe Manus shooting

9:27 am on 17 April 2017

Papua New Guinea's Defence Force is investigating an incident in which military personnel fired shots at Australia's refugee detention centre on Manus Island.

The Good Friday incident came after a reported melee involving asylum seekers at a football field near the Manus centre.

The detention centre is situated next to the Lombrum naval base operated by the PNGDF.

A dispute between refugees and guards at the gate to Oscar compound.

Australia's camp for offshore processing on Manus Island, PNG Photo: Behrouz Boochani

The PNGDF chief of staff Raymond Numa said asylum seekers were supposed to vacate the field at 6pm but that when they were required to do so, in order for dependents of the base to play on the oval, some of them refused to leave.

Mr Numa said when a base duty officer pursued the matter further, he was assaulted by asylum seekers which led to an escalation of the confrontation.

He said rocks were allegedly thrown by asylum seekers and shots fired by members of the naval base.

The PNGDF is now investigating the cause of the incident, Mr Numa said, adding that the situation was soon brought under control.

The Kurdish journalist and Manus Island detainee, Behrouz Boochani, reported three refugees were hurt by projectiles thrown over the fence and that some Australian officials were also injured.

He said more than 100 shots were fired following a fight between asylum seekers and a group of locals at a nearby football field.

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