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Victim wanted for robberies, murders in Lae

By Franco Nebas PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 27, 2010) - A prison escapee wanted by police for a string of robberies and murders in Lae City was chopped to death last Saturday after an attempted armed hold-up of a trade store, police said yesterday.

It is understood that the escapee and his gang tried to hold up a trade store when the public retaliated and attacked them.

Police named the escapee as Himoki Mara of Garaina, Morobe Province.

Police said Mara and his gang were wanted for three recent murders at Four Mile settlement, where two of those killed were burnt to ashes in their homes while the other was chopped into pieces and his body parts were dumped at various locations within the settlement.

Mara was also wanted for abduction of a woman and her two male friends, and rape of the woman.

He was also wanted for a string of recent armed robberies and stolen motor vehicles within the city.

Police said Mara and his gang were attacked by the public after police were preparing to mount special operations over the weekend.

Police also have arrested one of Mara’s gang members, a man aged, 30, from Dagua, East Sepik Province, on Sunday following a joint operation. Police are yet to lay charges on him. Meanwhile, Assistant Police Commissioner Giossi Labi has issued a stern warning to people of Bulolo district to refrain from causing further trouble there.

Mr. Labi’s warning came after threats made by Bulolo villagers for a further ethnic clash with displaced Sepik settlers.

It was alleged that the Bulolo villagers had planned to attack the Sepik settlers at the care centre yesterday following the well-documented verbal threat issued by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to Bulolo MP Sam Basil last week following the Parliament session.

Labi warned that people should not take the matter outside or personally as it was among the leaders themselves.

"The incident happened inside the Parliament where they (MPs) are covered under parliamentary privilege, they can fight, swear, issue a threat but they cannot be charged," he said.

Provincial police commander Peter Guinness also warned the villagers that the incident happened between leaders in Parliament and the people should not take it outside.

Mr. Guinness also warned Bulolo villagers not to take further action against Sepik settlers in the care centre.

"The people in the care centre are protected under the law and they will be in full control of the Government," he said.

"We won’t allow such a move to happen."

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