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Police and Protestors in Tense Standoff in Madang

By Scott Waide – EMTV News, Lae

Police are currently in a tense standoff with more than 3,000 protestors at the Gum Bridge outside of Madang Town.

The crowd gathered early this morning with the intention of marching into town to remove illegal settlers blamed for the recent unrest, but they were stopped by police.

Madang MP, Bryan Kramer, and police section commanders have been negotiating for the protestors to stand down and return home. However, the protestors have demanded proof that evictions of illegal settlers will begin immediately.

Protestors have also issued threats to attack government property in Madang Town. Police said they are taking threats very seriously and have refused to allow the march to proceed. The protest stemmed from the recent killing of a teacher and retaliatory attacks by both opportunists and Madang locals.

One policeman was severely injured on Saturday when he tried to talk to a crowd that had gathered to march. Three men were shot and killed on the same date.

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