The National - Tuesday, August 9th 2011
In the first incident, drunken youths living at the Mero Bridge stopped a 15-seater bus belonging to a businessman from Pangia, Southern Highlands, assaulted and robbed the occupants and smashed its windows.
Southern Highlanders, in retaliation, travelled in two bus loads and confronted the youths with bush knives and other weapons.
According to police station commander Snr Insp Steven Kaipa, while many fled the scene, one of the youths was hit on the head with a machete.
He was rushed to hospital by traffic police but died laster that evening due to heavy loss of blood.
Kaipa confirmed that the incident last Saturday sparked tension between the Sepiks and Southern Highlanders.
It continued last Sunday with youths blocking the roads with banana stems and stones as soon as Mobile Squad members pulled out of the area after monitoring the situation the previous night.
Last Sunday, Kaipa addressed the Mero crowd, appealing to them to let the law take its course.
“The stretch of road from Biliau Maus Rot to Mero is a hot-spot. If any unlawful activity within this stretch is done it will be met with equal retribution so be prepared to face the consequences,” he told the Sepik community.
In a separate incident also on Sunday, a Western province youth identified only as “Fox” by a friend was found dead at the Banglang Riwo road side not far from the Banglang Club.
According to Kaipa, the youth was stabbed with a sharp object in the right eye and died from heavy loss of blood.
His friend confirmed to police they had been drinking together earlier and was on his way home when he was attacked.
Police are still investigating both killings with arrests expected soon.
Meanwhile, the body of a middle-aged man was found at the bank of Wara-Simbu River outside Kundiawa, Chimbu, in the early hours of Saturday.
The man has been identified as Apa Mosley of Kagai village, Yongomugl in the Sinasina-Yongomugl district.
Police believed the man died from wounds on his head.
The body was discovered by Wara Simbu a resident who alerted Kundiawa police.