At least four people are believed to have been killed, and dozens are wounded, after police opened fire on a student protest, in Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, prompting riots across the country.
Dozens of people were wounded and four reported killed in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday after police opened fire on a student demonstration in the capital and riots erupted across the country, officials and residents said.
A groundswell of political unrest has surged in the island nation, just to Australia’s north, in recent weeks amid calls for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to resign over corruption allegations.
People in Port Moresby reported police firing on the public and using tear gas to disperse crowds during a protest at the University of PNG’s Waigani campus. Protests were later reported in the PNG Highland cities of Goroka and Mt Hagen, and in Lae on the north coast.
PNG media and one international aid agency, which declined to be identified because it only had preliminary information, said a clinic at the university had reported up to four students had been killed, although there was no confirmation.
“Now there is a very big clash with the public and with the police just outside the Port Moresby General Hospital,” a hospital official told Reuters by telephone after a group of wounded students were taken there for treatment.
“There is also shooting going on, open gunfire.”
Papua New Guinea, formerly administered by Australia, struggles with endemic violence and poverty despite a wealth of mineral resources. It is ranked 139 out of 168 in Transparency International’s corruption index.