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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 3) - A man’s head was chopped off while others received bullet wounds after an argument over a game of cards turned nasty in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea last week.

[PIR editor’s note: Western Highlands province is located in the central part of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula.]

The men, all from different clans of the Kolo tribe of Lumusa District in the Mul Baiyer electorate, were playing cards when an argument broke out and a fierce knife and gun battle erupted among the gamblers.

Councillor Paul Lepa, who is also from the same area, said during the melee, one young man from the Kolo Pauarep clan chopped off the neck of an elderly man from the Ambanekausa clan. "The argument erupted over the game of cards and then the men started cutting and shooting each other, and it was during this time that the young man chopped off the neck of the elderly man," Lepa said.

The councilor said many of the men involved in the fight were cut, shot and wounded during the fight. But only the elderly man died.

"Leaders of the Kolo tribe have condemned the killing, which was describe as meaningless and a inhuman act. We are stopping any further exchanges between the two clans," Lepa said.

He said there was no other exchange between the two clans since the killing, "but we are monitoring them very closely to stop any further killings."

The young man, who killed the elderly man, is still at large under the protection of his clansmen in the area.

Lack of government infrastructure into the Lumusa areas for more than 20 years has forced the people into a lifestyle similar to that of the Stone Age.

There is no law and order instruments in the district and law-breakers are roaming freely.

Lumusa is located on a terrain towards the northern end of Western Highlands Province in the Mul Baiyer electorate bordering Enga Province.

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