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PNG Deputy PM Abel slams gun fight as an act of terrorism

Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister and Alotau MP Charles Abel has condemned the shootout in Alotau and described it as an act of terrorism.

Abel said in Port Moresby Thursday night these men took advantage when the mobile squad that was stationed there left a week ago.

While giving a situation report to the nation, he said the crossfire between the police and so-called criminals had cost the life of an innocent man; a police barracks with more than nine houses burnt to the ground, looted a shop and destroyed an ATM machine at the Alotau International Hotel.

He said this happened when the police officers who were there retreated after they ran out of ammunition but were lucky enough to have reinforcements from East Cape who came in and restored some order. He said that the province cannot continue to have people who have access to police-issued weapons and ammunitions running around Alotau.

"This is terrorism. These activities are happening too frequent and have impacted our community and our town. It has affected all the good things that are happening in the province,” Abel said.

“I am sorry for my poor town to continue to be terrorised to have heavy gunfight going on for one or two hours with people hiding in their houses and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s terrible.

“It impacts on the children, women and people. This is something we are not used to in Milne Bay. My condolences to the families who were hurt and to the family who lost their loved one.”

Abel also confirmed that all businesses were closed as of yesterday, however the chamber of commerce and the provincial law and order community will meet today to restore normalcy.

“Reinforcements from the police going down including some senior hierarchy to go down there and have a look at the situation but we will try to get business back to normal as soon as possible,” Abel said.

“We are not going to let this country be ruled by such thugs and I appeal to them to think about what they are doing and lay down their arms and come forward for the sake of the wider community and peace.

“You are not living somewhere foreign, this is your home and you need to think about that, said DPM Abel..


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