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Victims ambushed in Highlands district

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 10, 2010) – Fourteen people have been killed by a hand grenade explosion during a tribal conflict in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.

Police in Southern Highlands province say 14 men were ambushed by an enemy tribe in the Kagua-Erave district.

Provincial police commander Superintendent Teddy Tei says he witnessed the mass burial of the 14 people last week.

He says it started after the death of a villager from Yakare village, who was allegedly killed by another tribe, the Kome.

Police say the Yakare tribe invited the Komes for peace discussions, but instead ambushed them with a hand grenade.

Police say the two tribes are locked in a fierce battle using firearms.

A special police task force has been deployed to the area.

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