TWO RAPED IN CONTINUING PAPUA NEW GUINEA ELECTION VIOLENCE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 5, 2002 - Post-Courier/The National/PINA Nius Online)---Two women, including a young pregnant mother, have been pack-raped in election-related incidents in Papua New Guinea's Western Highlands.

The two women, from the tribe of former Anglimp South Wahgi member Kuk Kuli, were raped by supporters of another candidate in Kindeng.

There have been a number of incidents in the Highlands ahead of this month's elections.

The women, who are married to members of the rival candidate’s Menga tribe, were reportedly heading for Mr. Kuli’s home with several other people when they were attacked and raped.

Relatives from the women’s husbands’ Momblge sub clan early on Sunday morning raided the rival candidate’s village, burned down several houses, including his campaign headquarters, and chopped a man with axes and bush knives.

Following the raid, the rival’s men mobilized, retaliated and seriously wounded another man from the Momblge clan. The man is believed to have later died.

The raped victims were alleged to have lured votes from their husbands’ clan for Mr. Kuli. The rival’s supporters were said to have raped the women in an attempt to prevent people going out from their tribe.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kuli urged candidates and their supporters not to turn to unlawful acts in their campaigns.

Mr. Kuli said the law was still there and people responsible would be brought to face it.

He urged the two groups not to settle their disputes in a violent way.

Meantime, one man was killed and another had his right hand chopped off in election-related violence in Asaro, Eastern Highlands province, over the weekend.

And in Pangia, Southern Highlands province, rival supporters of two candidates clashed openly with rocks, bottles and sticks, resulting in injuries to many people.

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

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

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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