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Looting in Port Moresby, buildings ablaze, shots heard

Looting amidst riots in Port Moresby


LOOTING and arson broke out on the streets of Boroko in Port Moresby this morning after a supermarket caught alight yesterday. 

Rhian Deutrom of The Australian said shots were heard on Angau Drive and several buildings were set on fire 50 metres from the Salvation Army compound and a local school.

The compound is staffed by Australian couple, PNG territorial commander Colonel Kelvin Alley and Colonel Julie Alley, as well as local officers.

Earlier this afternoon, Colonel Alley said the situation was “quite serious”.

“Fires are raging, hundreds of people are looting and police are shooting bullets and tear gas,” he said.

The Salvation Army’s Boroko School, which teaches children from preschool through to Grade 8, was closed as a safety measure.

“The fire is literally 50 metres away — our drain saves us,” Alley said. “We’ve arranged to get staff home. Senior staff will remain to secure our building and property”.

Buildings burn in BorokoJust after four o'clock this afternoon, Shae McDonald of Australian Associated Press quoted resident Kathy Testh saying she awoke  to the sound of gunshots this morning as fire tore through nearby buildings in Boroko.

Ms Testh, who works at the Mapang Missionary Home a few blocks away, told AAP she drove to a meeting and found the main roads cordoned off when she returned.

She saw armed personnel stopping cars and pedestrians from entering the area.

The disturbances reportedly occurred after a fire in a supermarket yesterday spread to other nearby buildings and set off looting. Ms Testh said she had been told that two more buildings  caught fire today.




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John K Kamasua

Today's Post-Courier front page reveals that there will be a probe as arson is suspected.

Among the looters of the shops were police officer in full uniform who loaded their loot onto police vehicles!!

Only in PNG?

John K Kamasua

A short video uploaded on Whatsapp showed looters scurrying for cover as gunshots were heard to disperse people from looting nearby shops and stores.

The video also showed many people running away with looted goods from one of the stores owned by the CHM group.

The gunshots almost caused a stampede and could have been fatal for some. The crowd was obviously growing and this was seen from the building.

John K Kamasua

The Fire Department in Port Moresby is virtually crippled and lacks the very basic resources and equipment to fight fires. The whole city of Port Moresby is vulnerable.

Fire hydrants installed many years ago in most parts of the city have been vandalised. And the new areas with buildings and infrastructure do not have hydrants at all!

Its a massive disaster waiting to happen. Like most things in this country, we wait until it is usually too late.

Sori tumas! And we never learn from most things.

Warren Seeto

What caused this?

I guess we'll just have to await the police investigation - KJ

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