By Scott Waide – EM TV, Lae
Tensions are high near Kumalo River in Morobe province, after a village elder was slashed with a knife and two women were raped during attempts to cross the flooded river on Tuesday night.
Opportunists seeking compensation for makeshift bridge repairs reportedly demanded a payment for crossing before proceeding to chop off a man’s forearm. Two women were abducted and repeatedly raped until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Dozens of men and boys from the Zenag and Gurako areas, armed with bush knives and homemade weapons, crossed Kumalo River in search of those responsible, on Wednesday morning. This is the latest of many crimes committed along the banks of Kumalo River by opportunists.
“When we don’t work, people take advantage of the situation and start harassing people,” said a supervisor of the contractor tasked to clear the road.
As the build-up of armed tribesmen continues, Bulolo MP, Sam Basil, requested for a police contingent to be deployed to the Kumalo.
Leaders from Zenag and Gurako are working to resolve tensions by demanding that the troublemakers be handed over.