Tense Goroka town under lockdown after brutal slaying of PNG Ports chief

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The aftermath of a dawn raid yesterday in Eastern Highlands province 200922
Goroka mayhem ... the aftermath of a dawn raid yesterday allegedly by people from Lower Bena at Nagamiufa village, Eastern Highlands. Image: PNG Post-Courier

PNG Post-Courier

Goroka town is under lockdown and remains tense as Papua New Guinea police mount a heavy presence following the brutal slaying of the PNG Ports chief executive Fego Kiniafa outside the Eastern Highlands provincial capital.

Kiniafa was slashed to death at Nagamiufa on Saturday after he allegedly shot a Nagamiufa man.

Four men who were with Kiniafa are alleged to have been taken hostage by Nagamiufa villagers.

His relatives from Korofeigu, Lower Bena, are reported to have mobilised and attacked Nagamiufa village, sparking a tribal conflict that shut down businesses in Goroka and sent people scattering.

Highway travellers were left stranded as vehicles deserted the roads between Lower Bena and Goroka, and international visitors to the just ended Goroka Show were also stranded at the new airport.

Police reported the Lower Benas wiped out Nagamiufa village in a 4am dawn raid yesterday.

Most people had fled in fear of the attack to neighbouring villages.

Raid because of no arrest
The raid allegedly occurred because there has not been any arrest made in relation to the death of Kiniafa two days after he was slashed to death near Nagamiufa village.

PNG Ports chief Fego Kiniafa killed
PNG Ports chief Fego Kiniafa … Goroka reported to be tense after his killing. Image: PNG Investment Conference

Spears, guns and other weapons were used as Goroka town was deserted with businesses shut down and the Goroka General Hospital also on lockdown as security was tightened.

Travellers wishing to travel out of the province after the EHP show were left stranded and locked inside the terminal as the airport closed its gates.

On Saturday morning, Police Commissioner David Manning confirmed the death of Kiniafa, 43, from a confrontation near Nagamiufa village.

EHP Police Commander Chief Superintendent Michael Welly said that the killing occurred between midnight and 6am on September 17.

According to police reports, Kiniafa was allegedly involved in a confrontation with several suspects from the surrounding settlements around Nagamiufa village in Goroka.

Kiniafa allegedly shot another man, and in retaliation the relatives of the man ambushed Kiniafa and his driver with bush-knives, killing them.

Four men allegedly kidnapped
Superintendent Welly said: “It is alleged that four men who were with Mr Kiniafa are said to have been kidnapped as well with police investigating the allegations and as well as investigating the incident on Saturday.”

Kiniafa was found at the scene and rushed to the hospital before being pronounced dead on arrival.

PNG Ports on Saturday afternoon released a short statement confirming Kiniafa’s death and announcing that chief operations officer Rodney Begley would manage and oversee the office of the CEO.

Kimiafa, who turned 43 on PNG’s Independence Day — Friday, September 16 — was one of the youngest chief executives of a government entity.

Republished with permission.

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