PNG villagers living in fear after massacre

12:22 pm on 16 July 2019

Villagers at the scene of last week's massacre in Papua New Guinea's Hela province are traumatised and living in fear.

The burnt remains of a  house in Karida

The burnt remains of a house in Karida Photo: Scott Waide

At least 18 people were killed in the attack, when tribesmen set upon the village of Karida, near the provincial capital Tari.

All of the victims were women and children.

The Lae Bureau chief for EMTV news, Scott Waide, visited the village last week, soon after they had buried their dead.

People from the village of Karida

People from the village of Karida Photo: Scott Waide

He said the village had worked to stay neutral in Hela's ongoing tribal fights, but they've become embroiled anyway.

"Speaking to the villagers as well, they were saying things like these are the women who held onto the ground while the men went out, while the men travelled," Mr Waide said.

"So they are the ones who are the mothers of the land.

"They looked after the pigs, they looked after the children, they fed the children, they fed their siblings and this is what we've got for being neutral."

Earlier the Police Minister Bryan Kramer said the killing of innocent women and children in tribal conflicts was unheard of and the killings had changed everything.

Mr Kramer said in a post on Facebook he's concerned such attacks could become a new trend, and authorities were working hard to catch the offenders.