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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 13, 1998 - Post-Courier)--- The Bougainville Revolutionary Army's South Bougainville Commander, Paul Bobby, has been murdered.

He was shot dead at his Kararu Village, just outside Buin town, early on Sunday morning.

Confirming the report yesterday, North Solomons Administrative Secretary Francis Kabano said Bobby was killed about 5.30 a.m.

Mr. Kabano said there were no further details of the shooting available to the Buka administration.

"The situation on the ground is quiet but not overly tense," Mr. Kabano said.

"This implies that it was a local event.''

Mr. Kabano would not speculate on the reason for the killing or its implications on the peace process.

But according to sources in Buka, Bobby was gunned down by a group of men believed to be from another BRA faction.

The source said Bobby was shot down in front of his mother.

Bobby had come out of the house to see who the men were after his mother had reportedly told him there was a group of armed men outside that wanted to see him.

The men fired on Bobby as soon as he walked onto the verandah, killing him instantly, the source said.

Mr. Kabano said a team including members of the Peace Monitoring Group and Bougainville Interim Government representatives had gone Buin to investigate the murder.

BTG officials in Buin are assisting the team.

Mr. Kabano said Bobby had been involved in the peace process along with other BRA groups.

"He has been co-operating with us as well as Thomas Tari (another BRA leader involved in the peace process),'' Mr. Kabano said.

Bobby had been involved in peace talks as part of the BIG/BRA delegations on several occasions.

His murder comes immediately after the dates were set last week for further discussions on an elected government for Bougainville and also the twice postponed meeting between Bougainville and national Government leaders.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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