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PNG police & army involved in Boroko shootout

PNG policeLIAM COCHRANE | ABC PNG Correspondent

PAPUA New Guinea's police and army have formed a joint taskforce to investigate a shootout between the two forces that left four men in hospital with gunshot wounds.

Businesses located near the confrontation closed their doors and there were reports of looting following the clash.

"After last night's stand-off, culminating from a drunken brawl between our soldiers and policemen ... senior officers from both the defence force and the constabulary have now formed a task force to investigate," deputy police commissioner Jim Andrews said.

"I appeal to all members of the constabulary to refrain from provoking or inciting further violence with our counterparts from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF)."

The altercation began in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Port Moresby suburb of Boroko.

Police say a group of soldiers were drunk and disorderly on the street in front of a nightclub.

They arrested several soldiers and locked them up at the nearby Boroko police station.

A short time later, a group of soldiers arrived at the police station and managed to free three soldiers from the cells.

"Soldiers and policemen were embroiled in a violent confrontation and several gunshots were discharged," deputy commissioner Andrews said. Four soldiers were hospitalised with gunshot injuries.

At the weekend, the police and army set up separate roadblocks in the area surrounding Boroko police station and the army's Murray Barracks.

Police say the situation is under control and senior officers of both forces held a joint press conference on Saturday.

"We don't want to speculate [on] anything as yet," Colonel Vagi Oala, acting PNGDF chief of staff, said.

He said a preliminary report about the incident is expected tomorrow.

"Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against any member of these two disciplinary forces who are found to have broken the law," deputy commissioner Andrews said.


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John Kaupa Kamasua


I totally endorse what you have said here.

May God bless and protect PNG!!!!!

Peter Pirape Anage

Embarashing antics from the very security forces the State has entrusted with the duty to ensure a safe, peaceful and orderly society have now gone berseck again. After recent trails of chaos and destruction, we have the guardians of society going at each other again. How much embarashing does it get? Before we have more lawlessness and anarchy, the PNG Defence and the PNG Police need to recruit citizens with minimum qualification of Gr. 12 and up to University levels. Aptitude and personality test must be part of the recruitment process and create progressive and visible career part within the disciplinary forces. Have a zero tolerance policy to discipline. We can build a strong and professional disciplinary force if we can start building the essential parts that contributes to the overal sum total. God bless PNG.

John Kaupa Kamasua

The business community in the city, residents, and even the PM and the opposition leader have expressed their dismay and concerns over the confrontation between.

Many say discipline go back to the core of both forces. The top brass of both must be really concerned and do something constructive to bring back the pride and sense of honor that saw men and women in years gone by respect the pledge they made to their codes.

At the same time, businesses have been affected, and some have lost businesses due to looting.

Philip G Kaupa

And again the PNGDF on the cover page!

It is very vital and critical that our Govt and the PNGDF
exercise a very strict strategy in recruting soldiers.This applies to the Police force aswell.

Let the Fresh School Leavers (Gr. 12s) and the Post Graduates take up spaces for training. They at least have some discipline in them and are knowledgable enough.

How can we expect to mantain and at all cost uphold the caliber and integrity of our highly desciplined force if we just pick people from the street???

In this day and age National Security in important and we can not creat disunity and loose confidence in ourselves.

John Kaupa Kamasua

What a waste of time and energy, for the joint task force to investigate. Both the defence and police should look for opportunities to contribute to nation building.

The confrontation started over a trivial issue not related to the core business.

The incident sent goose bumps among citizens and city dwellers.

Indeed it is high time to be really scared and worried about the security of this country.

While they are at each other, where does it leave the ordinary people who need protection and assurance from the disciplined forces.

Some things only happen in this land of the unexpected.
Worrying times indeed!!

Marc D Bowden

If PNG's armed forces (police & military) fight amongst themselves, what hope do PNG citizens have for safe and secure livelihoods, a secure homeland, and a just and civil society?

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