PNG POLICE LOOT STORE IN WEWAK BRAWL

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 3) – Police in Wewak, Papua New Guinea, yesterday took part in a vicious street brawl with security guards outside a supermarket.

The security firm’s office was later ransacked by police, with a female employee badly assaulted.

This occurred after two policemen allegedly swore at one of the company’s guards on duty at Price Chopper Supermarket over the weekend.

A Guard Dog Security staff member (who asked to remain anonymous) said the original incident occurred on Saturday morning at the supermarket after two auxiliary officers swore at a guard.

"Those two officers made some dirty remarks and told the guard that his job was rubbish. When they said that, the guard got up and started fighting with them," he said.

He said, in retaliation to Saturday’s incident policemen mobilised yesterday around 11 a.m., went to the supermarket and started looting it.

"I was on my way to the supermarket to do clearance for the security guards when I learned that policemen were stealing goods. There was a big fight outside the supermarket between us and them," he said.

He said the same group of policemen then went to the security base and started rampaging.

"They fired four gunshots in the air and six teargas gunshots when they came in," he said. "They also stole two two-way radios — and some batons — and ran away."

He added that a female employee of the security firm was badly injured by the policemen and left unconscious. She was later taken to hospital.

Other reports reaching the Post-Courier say the fight broke out when a woman, believed to be the wife of a policeman, was bodysearched by security guards.

Eyewitnesses said the woman who was searched by the guards reported the matter to her husband, claiming she was touched in an inappropriate manner. Police then mobilised to confront the guards.

Wewak provincial commander Leo Kabilo said he would provide details of the incident today.

May 3, 2005

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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