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June 27, 2022
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Fresh Clashes Erupt at Sialum Compound in Lae

Attempts to end an ongoing feud between two ethnic groups in Lae City have failed yet again with fresh clashes erupting in the early hours of this morning.

One man is reported dead and several others injured in fighting between people from Sialum and the Highlands.

For the past year, the Sialum Compound has been a hot spot.

Last month, local authorities publicly announced that the groups were coming together for a peace ceremony. But just when many thought the fighting would end a fresh wave of violence began in the early hours of this morning.

Police have maintained a heavy presence at the settlement made up of a mix of people from various parts of Papua New Guinea.

“I saw a man who was injured possibly by a firearm,” said a policeman who was at the scene since the early hours.

“He was taken to hospital.”

In one part of the settlement, several houses belonging to people Sialum lay in heaps of smoldering timber and roofing iron. One settler said they were burned in retaliation to an alleged killing yesterday.

The number of houses burned is still unknown. There are several others deep inside the settlement that have been burned. Some were torched by the parties at the center of the clash and others burned by opportunists.

One settler from the East Sepik said the fighting started at midnight and continued until the early hours of the morning. By 5am the fist lot of houses were burned.

The number of people displaced by this clash has now added to those displaced previously.

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