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January 19, 2021
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Madang Clashes

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Two men are seriously injured and several houses burnt in retaliation for the death of a man at Nagada settlement in Madang.

Police have begun investigations but are yet to establish the exact circumstances behind the death.

According to residents, accusations made against one group of settlers escalated to retaliatory attacks on Tuesday, after a young Sepik man died along this section of the road.

Up to 20 houses have been burnt as part of the reprisals. The circumstances of the death have not yet been established.

But there are several unverified versions of the death which police are yet to clarify.

“We’ve gone to the site but what we have is only hearsay,” said Superintendent Jacob Singura, Madang’s Provincial Police Commander.

On Monday, in a revenge attack, a young man from Simbu province was   slashed multiple times as he prepared to go to work at the nearby RD Tuna cannery.

Witnesses say he had nothing to do with the death and he was attacked because of his ethnicity.

“He was preparing to go to work,” said Steven John, an eyewitness.

“He called out my name. He said ‘Seven, they’ve cut me.’ He was quite badly injured and we took him to hospital.”

Nagada settlement sits on land owned by the Lutheran Church. Over the last four years, people believed to be traditional landowners sold off portions of the land now occupied by people from various parts of Papua New Guinea.

This is the latest episode of  fighting that has happened in a town once known for its serenity and low crime rate.

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