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Port Moresby
January 23, 2022

Lae’s Bumbu Sorcery Killing

A man was killed by three youths with a plantation knife yesterday at Lae’s Bumbu area.

The youths cut the back of his head from ear to ear; two suspects surrendered to police, fearing retaliation.


Ongoing police investigations have revealed that the man was killed over sorcery allegations.


The man from Biwat in the East Sepik Province was surrounded by the three youths, knocked to the ground and his head was chopped from behind.


The youths, between the ages of 18 and 25, had been drinking throughout the night. Eyewitnesses reported the incident to the police.


Pictures taken by a police officer before the dead body was taken to Lae’s Angau Hospital show the fatal wound, with the brain stem severed.


Police say the motive of the killing stemmed from allegations of sorcery deaths in the man’s village in the East Sepik.


The suspects were later arrested in the swamps of notorious 4 Mile after they told community leaders there that they would surrender to police.


The killing has created tension in the area after relatives of the deceased man mobilized to retaliate.


Police are on full alert to assess the situation.


Bumbu has been the scene of very serious crimes over the last 24 months; in 2012, several houses were burnt and almost five were killed after clashes between Sepik and Morobe communities.


It is not known whether the victim was related to his killers, but it is understood that they all come from Biwat.


Family members of the victim told police that the killing comes two years after a threat from one of the suspects to kill the man if he saw him in Lae or Madang.


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