Papua New Guinea Tribal Violence Results In Massacre Of 53 Men: REPORT

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Tribal violence in Papua New Guinea resulted in at least 53 men being massacred in the country’s highland, according to reports Sunday.

Papua New Guinea authorities indicated Sunday the men were shot during an ambush in Enga Province reportedly due to tribal fighting within the region, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News. Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Acting Superintendent George Kakas released a statement to the outlet following the incident, emphasizing it was the “largest” killing he’s seen. (RELATED: North Carolina Cops Arrest Multiple Juveniles And Parents Over Rash Of Gun Violence On New Year’s Eve)

“This is by far the largest (killing) I’ve seen in Enga, maybe in all of Highlands as well, in Papua New Guinea,” Kakas stated. “We’re all devastated, we’re all mentally stressed out. It’s really hard to comprehend.”

Authorities believe that, leading up to the incident, a tribe and its allies and mercenaries had been on their way to attack a neighboring tribe before being ambushed. Video footage believed to be related to the incident was posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) which showed a group of tribal men marching within the Papua New Guinea area carrying what appears to be guns and crossbows.

Kakas stated that there have been tribesmen killed “all over the countryside” as authorities have attempted to ease the tensions between the groups, according to ABC News. The acting superintendent said authorities were still counting “those who were shot, injured and ran off into the bushes,” noting the total number could go up to “60 or 65,” according to the outlet.

“These tribesmen have been killed all over the countryside, all over the bush,” Kakas stated. “Police and defence forces have had to go in to do their best to quell the situation at their own risk.”

“We started collecting bodies, scattered all over the battlefield, the roads, the riverside … and they were loaded onto police trucks and taken to the hospital,” he added.

Tribal violence has been an ongoing issue for the area since the last election in 2022, when an ambush occurred at a funeral after a tribe from another village was blamed for a man’s death, according to ABC News.

The Egna Providence was placed under lockdown for several months in 2023 following massive tribal fights, the outlet reported.