More than twenty people were left homeless aftertheir houses were burnt down tothe ground by military personnel overthe weekend.
Farm animals were also slaughtered when severaPNG Defense Force officers, armed with weapons, attacked settlers residing on a private property at 7 mile.
The attack followed an incident that occurred last Saturday between one ofthe soldiers and three male youths residing on this private property belonging to Robert Gall.
Resident Toyam Tafo said women and children ran intothe bushes in fear whilethe men stood helpless asthe soldiers walked ontothe property, beating residents and slaughtering farm animals. Seven hundred kina in cash that was made from selling chickens, including school uniforms and documents were valuables lost inthe fire.
Only three pigs remained ofthe farm animals that were attacked. Two ofthem had deep lacerations. Chickens and a family of dogs were burnt along withthe houses, but not beforethe homes were looted. Mr Tafo saidthe ther animals that were killed were taken away bythe soldiers.
He said more than 10 soldiers came in three vehicles. They were identiflied fromthe military uniformthey wore. thers were in civilian. At presentofive male residents are in hospital nursing serious injuries incurred bythe soldiers.
Mr Gall saidthere were police officers fromthe six mile police station who went to his property withthe soldiers, but failed to prevent property from being destroyed.
He condemnedtheir actions and saidthe civil society is at grave risk because solvable incidents involving disciplinary forces were likely to result in destruction and even loss of life.
The incident at 7 mile is notthe first bythPNGDF soldiers. thers includethe attack on Vadavada settlers last year where two homes were burnt tothe ground, and anther wasthe UPNG medical students’rsquo; attack in July this years. Beth incidents resulted after soldiers had disagreements with members ofthe public.
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