PNG TRIBESMEN AXE SCHOOLMASTER TO DEATH

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Victim had refused request for burial on his land

By James Apa Gumuno PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 30, 2009) – In Papua New Guinea, the headmaster of a school in Enga province was axed to death while asleep in his family home on Monday.

Kimbun Nom, headmaster of Tumandan Primary School in Muritaka, Laiagam district, Enga province, was axed to death on Monday by nine armed men from the Makole tribe.

Nom, father of three from Miok clan, was spending his Christmas holidays with his family in his house at Lyamala village near Laiagam station when nine men from Wai clan, armed with bush knives and guns, surrounded his house early in the morning around six and axed him to death in front of his family members.

[PIR editor’s note: Enga is the highest and most rugged province in Papua New Guinea. It covers an area of 12,800 square kilometers with a population of approximately 295,000. The provincial capital of Enga is Wabag.]

It is alleged the Wai clansmen attacked and killed Mr. Nom after he refused to allow the Wai clansmen to bury one of their men, who died recently on his land.

He had told them to go and bury him elsewhere in a proper cemetery.

This frustrated the Wai clansmen, who broke into his house and chopped him to pieces.

A senior police officer in the province confirmed the killing yesterday afternoon.

The police officer, who asked not to be named, said the deceased and the suspects were from the same Makole tribe but from different clans.

Police said the body of the deceased was taken to the Wabag General Hospital on Monday for postmortem.

Mr. Nom’s body was transported back to his village yesterday for burial.

Police appealed to the suspects from the Wai clan to voluntarily surrender to the police.

They urged the clansmen to respect the law and allow justice to take its own course and punished those responsible in the killing.

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