'Chopped into pieces': Children, pregnant women killed in village massacre

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape has vowed to crack down on tribal violence

Gunmen have massacred at least 18 people in a village in Papua New Guinea, global media reports have said.

Officials said the deaths occurred in Hela province - a rugged region in the west of the country - when rival tribes apparently clashed over control of local gold deposits in the mineral-rich soil.

PM James Marape called the news "one of the saddest days of my life", promising to track down the perpetrators.

It is one amongst the worst outbreaks of tribal violence in PNG for years.

The cause of the killings is not yet known but is part of a long-running conflict that has been active for years.

Highland tribes in Papua New Guinea have been at odds for centuries, but an influx of automatic weapons has escalated the violence.

Tokura added that the police will use "all available resources to bring the killers to justice", and that the Hela Provincial police commander ordered a team of 30 men, comprising of soldiers from the PNG Defense Force and local police "to stop any further violence and capture the killers".

"Gun-toting criminals, your time is up", Marape said.

"It modified into retaliation of a outdated attack".


The killing of 16 people on Monday in the village of Karida in the remote province of Hela were probably retaliation for an earlier attack that left around seven dead, Hela Governor Philip Undialu told the ABC.

William Bando mentioned he had now called for in spite of every thing 100 more police to toughen the reward 40 native officers.

"How can a province of 400,000 people function in policing law and order with under 60 policemen, and the occasional operational military and police that do no more than bandaid maintenance?"

Papua Recent Guinea's highland provinces are very faraway. Communities are still based around tribal traditions and many small villages have never had road connections.

Tribal clashes are not unusual: rivalries are often caused by rape, theft or clan boundary disputes.

In 2018, an quake devastated one of the most most a ways flung regions. Independent state since 1975, Papua New Guinea is among the poorest countries in the world.

ExxonMobil was forced to halt construction on a natural gas pipeline a year ago because of unrest.

More than 20 people - mostly women and children - have been killed in days of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea, according to officials.

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