PNG Defense Force, Immigration Department Conducting Investigation Into Manus Riot

Bashing of officer lead to drunken rampage where shots were fired

By Clifford Faiparik

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 18, 2017) – A joint police, PNG Defence Force and PNG Immigration investigation has started after a riot broke out when asylum seekers allegedly bashed up a soldier in Manus on Good Friday, senior police and PNGDF officers say.

The riot also resulted in injuries sustained by a senior PNG Immigration officer and police officers and thousands of kina worth of damage to government properties at the regional processing centre at the Lombrum Naval Base.

PNGDF chief of staff Col Raymond Numa said that a confrontation occurred when the base duty officer was allegedly assaulted by asylum seekers when he told them to leave the playing field at about 6pm.

“The asylum seekers were supposed to vacate the oval by 6pm for the dependents of the base to play. So when the duty officer asked them to leave, some of them refused to leave and assaulted him which led to an escalation of the confrontation,” Numa said.

“Rocks were allegedly thrown by the asylum seekers and shots fired by military officers.

“The base commanding officer then intervened and by 7.30pm, the situation was brought under control. The asylum seekers were secured in their camp, order restored and few people treated for minor injuries.”

Meanwhile, Manus police commander Senior Inspector David Yapu has expressed concern about the “unethical and unacceptable behaviour of the drunken soldiers”.

The National
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