By Miriam Zarriga in Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea police have arrested five men in Goroka over their alleged involvement in the killing of PNG Ports managing director Fego Kiniafa.
Provincial Police Commander Chief Superintendent Michael Welly said the men were in police custody and were now being questioned over the slaying of Kiniafa on the morning of September 17 — last Saturday — near Nagamiufa village outside Goroka town.
Kiniafa and his driver were reportedly slashed with machetes after the CEO shot a Nagamiufa villager.
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Welly said investigations were continuing into the killing which sparked a tribal fight.
In the early hours of last Saturday between 1am and 4am, it was alleged that Kiniafa, who had turned 43 on September 16 — PNG Independence Day — was with a few men near Nagamiufa village when a confrontation occurred.
Kiniafa, from Korofeigu village in Lower Bena, is alleged to have discharged a weapon.
The bullet hit another man.
Several tribesmen incited
The shooting incited several tribesmen of the injured man to attack Kiniafa, slashing him several times before leaving him.
Details about what happened next has not been mentioned by police. However, it is believed Kiniafa was rushed to Goroka General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Two days later on Monday, a 4am dawn raid was conducted at Nagamiufa village by men allegedly from Korofeigu village, Lower Bena.
The raid on Nagamiufa caused about 400 plus women, girls and the elderly to seek refuge within the gates of the Bihute Correctional Services prison.
Goroka Airport also shut its gates, causing several 100 passengers made up of tourists and locals to be stranded inside the terminal.
Throughout Goroka town, businesses closed their doors, the hospital tightened its security, and schools were shut for the day as police tried to calm the situation.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Northern Command) Peter Guinness has confirmed with the PNG Post-Courier that two mobile squads from Mt Hagen, Western Highlands and a mobile squad from Lae, Morobe province, had been deployed in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province.
Since Monday the situation has returned to some sort of normalcy with police continuing to keep watch.
Investigations were ongoing.
Miriam Zarriga is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.