By Scott Waide – EMTV News
Reports out of Tari, Hela Province, say that at least five people have been killed in fighting over the last 12 hours after armed men ransacked and burned homes of their tribal enemies near the town.
At about 12pm, the group of about 400 men from two villages arrived at the edge of Tari Town and proceed to hunt down people from an opposing tribe.
Police, Defence and CS officers were placed at strategic locations around the town to stop the advance.
While they managed to talk down the heavily armed tribesman just after midday, the situation still remains tense.
Police on the ground said they were able to convince the tribesmen not to attack government property but they are unsure of how events will develop over the next 24 hours.
Shops, government and banking services have been closed.
The Catholic Bishop of Mendi, Donald Lippert, reported that tribesmen also went to a Tari Secondary school causing people to flee in fear.
The fighting is an escalation of two killings that happened earlier this month. It is also part of a long running tribal conflict.