A Papua New Guinea Police Criminal Investigation Team has been deployed to Kiriwina in Milne Bay province to investigate and prepare for a coroner’s inquest into the October 24 scuffle which has since resulted in the deaths of 24 people.
Superintendent Peter Barkie, Milne Bay Provincial Police Commander, said 22 people were killed initially in a three-hour scuffle that erupted after a row between coastal and inland villages over a football game.
Two recently succumbed to wounds they received during the fight, bringing the death toll to 24.
In a statement today, Mr Barkie said the CID police investigation team had been deployed after the Rapid Reaction Force completed its assessment of the situation on the ground on Kiriwina Island. .
He said he wanted the coroner involved because of the large number of deaths.
“I spoke to the senior provincial magistrate about it. My team is in Kiriwina to do it now. Hopefully they will get all the necessary documents within 14 days,” Mr Barkie said.
He said people in affected villages in Kiriwina are cooperating well.
Mr Barkie said the villages did not destroy government, private property or commercial homes when they fought, and the fighting did not involve the whole of Kiriwina Island.
He said the affected villages were in the southern part of Kiriwina Island and around Losuia Station.
The central and northern part of Kiriwina was not involved.
Mr Barkie said normalcy had been restored with all shops open, government businesses operating as normal and people going about their usual daily lives.
NBC News/PNG Today
Photos courtesy of Police Media