No less than 53 folks have been killed in combating within the distant highlands of Papua New Guinea, the place lethal violence between greater than a dozen tribal teams has been escalating, a senior safety official stated.

George Kakas, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary performing superintendent, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the loss of life toll from the incident in Enga Province was more likely to rise. It was unclear from his remarks when the killings had taken place, and the police didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

“These tribesmen have been killed everywhere in the countryside, everywhere in the bush,” Mr. Kakas informed the broadcaster. “Police and protection forces have needed to go in to do their finest to quell the state of affairs at their very own threat.”

Our bodies have been discovered throughout a area, alongside roads and close to a river, Mr. Kakas stated. Video footage and pictures shared on social media, whose authenticity couldn’t instantly be confirmed, confirmed dozens of our bodies piled onto the again of an open truck.

The police stated as many as 17 totally different tribes have been concerned within the clashes.

About 10 million folks dwell in Papua New Guinea, which is greater than California. It’s principally rural, and far of the inhabitants works in agriculture. Culturally, this can be very various; greater than 300 tribes are unfold throughout the nation and the bordering Indonesian areas of Papua and West Papua, in keeping with Survival, a gaggle that advocates for Indigenous rights.

Tribal violence has lengthy plagued Enga Province, which is in central Papua New Guinea, however it has change into extra frequent recently due to political points and tensions over useful resource administration, which have collectively led to an escalation of tit-for-tat violence, in keeping with the ABC. Final yr, the authorities put the province on a three-month lockdown to comprise the unrest.

No less than 150 folks have been killed in clashes in 2023, and the loss of life toll has been rising in recent times as tribespeople have moved from utilizing conventional bows and arrows to high-powered firearms, in keeping with Australian information shops.

Peter Ipatas, Enga’s governor, known as on Australia final yr to assist safety forces in Papua New Guinea comprise the violence. “We do not need the capability to repair this,” he informed the newspaper The Australian.

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