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11 July, 2019, 10:45
It's been labelled a "tribal killing" - a common and entrenched problem in parts of Papua New Guinea's remote highlands.
Latest reports have placed the death toll of a tribal massacre in Papua New Guinea's Hela Province (PNG) at 23.
Philip Pimua, the officer in charge of the Karida sub-health centre, who was in the village at the time of the attack, told the Guardian that there were 16 victims - eight children aged from one to 15 and eight women, two of whom were pregnant.
"Twenty-four people are confirmed dead, killed in three days, but could be more today", Hela provincial administrator William Bando told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.
Six people had been ambushed and killed near Peta on Saturday, Hela Police Chief Inspector Teddy Augwi told the newspaper.
The Post-Courier newspaper, based in the South Pacific island nation's capital, Port Moresby, reported that as many as 24 people had been killed in the villages of Karida and Peta since Saturday.
Highlanders say more and more outsiders are now involved in violent incidents - including roving mercenaries and arms dealers willing to work for cash, pigs or the kidnap of women.
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Prime Minister Marape, who's from the location, acknowledged the killings were led by gunmen from the Hagui, Okiru and Liwi tribes and acknowledged he would peek out punishment for the of us to blame. He mentioned some of them had been chopped into pieces and their physique components were inspiring to recognise.
"How can a province of 400,000 people device with policing legislation and stutter with below 60 policemen, and occasional operational protection force and police that does no extra than band abet repairs", he added.
The country's highland tribes have fought each other for centuries, but an influx of automatic weapons has escalated the cycle of violence and made the battles more deadly.
U.S. oil and gasoline firm ExxonMobil operates a pure gasoline processing plant in the effect where the bloodbath took situation however halted constructing on a pipeline final 365 days on memoir of unrest.
In 2018, an quake devastated some of the remote regions.
More than 20 people - mostly women and children - have been killed in days of tribal violence in Papua New Guinea, according to officials.