Ambush Massacre Leaves Dozens Dead

( – Reports have it that at least 49 people, and possibly many more, were brutally killed in a horrific tribal clash in the remote highlands province of Enga, Papua New Guinea, marking a devastating escalation in the region’s ongoing conflict. Graphic images and videos circulating online depict the horrible aftermath.

Police believe the victims, primarily men, were ambushed and shot dead in what could be the deadliest tribal massacre in the country’s recent history. Initial reports suggested a toll exceeding 50, but authorities later revised it down to 26, only to increase it again to 49 as more bodies were recovered.

The Royal PNG Constabulary Acting Superintendent, George Kakas, described the scene as “devastating” and “hard to comprehend.” He expressed the profound emotional toll on officers tasked with retrieving scattered bodies and navigating the tense environment.

This latest escalation comes after months of simmering tensions and tit-for-tat violence between rival tribes. Enga Province endured a lockdown last year in an attempt to curb the fighting, fueled by the ready availability of firearms and ammunition. Reports indicate the current conflict involves the same tribes responsible for over 60 deaths in 2023.

One tribe, along with allies and suspected mercenaries, were reportedly ambushed while en route to attack another. Superintendent Kakas described the scattered bodies across the countryside and the arduous task of retrieving and transporting them.

In response to the crisis, Prime Minister James Marape appealed for calm and urged warring parties to lay down their arms. He acknowledged the complex underlying disputes but emphasized peaceful avenues for resolution exist. Commissioner David Manning of the National Police echoed the call, urging provincial and local leaders to intervene and de-escalate tensions.

Governor Peter Ipatas of Enga expressed frustration, claiming authorities were warned of impending violence. He emphasized the unprecedented scale of the conflict, involving 17 tribes, and called for stronger intervention from security forces.

Commissioner Manning called the massacre “an act of domestic terrorism” facilitated by the easy access to weaponry. He announced legislative efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity and bring illegal weapons smugglers to justice.

Meanwhile, Vice Minister Miki Kaeok urged the government to declare a state of emergency, suggesting life imprisonment for those directly involved.

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