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Trukai Fun Run

Thousands in Port Moresby flocked the Jack Pidik Park this morning to support the PNG Olympic Committee major fundraiser, Trukai Fun Run.

The village was under attack by soldiers from Taurama Barracks yesterday, in retaliation over the death of one of their soldiers.

It was alleged that the deceased soldier was killed after he attempted to murder his ex-wife and her husband while they were asleep in their house in Kirakira village.

The situation is still tense with the villagers calling on the Papua New Guinea Defence Force hierarchy to address this issue.

The incident happened around 3pm. Soldiers from the Charlie Company, 1st Royal Pacific Island Regiment at Taurama Barracks randomly rampaged the village.

They torched 9 nine houses, looted trade stores and slaughtered 15 pigs before fleeing.

Residents were left traumatized. They described the incident as horrific.

This morning Acting Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki, PNGDF Commander Gilbert Toropo and member for Moresby South Justine Tkatchenko met with the residents.

Mr. Vaki appealed for calm.

Member for Moresby South Justine Tkatchenko gave his assurance to bring those involved to justice.

Commander for Papua New Guinea Defence Force Brigadier General Gilbert Toropo told the people that an investigation will be carried out to verify the cause of the incident.

This is not the first time for members of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to be involved in such acts.

This clearly shows that there is a breakdown in the command and control within the force.

Discipline has been emphasized time and time again but it is not reflected in the conduct of the soldiers.

The villagers have demanded compensation and want their land back on which Taurama Barracks sits, if this issue is not addressed accordingly.

The road blocks will also remain until the matter is resolved.

Member for Moresby Justine Tkatchenko is working closely with the local churches to provide shelter for those families affected.

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