PNG woman journalist hit by stray bullet during Moitaka shootout

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The wounded NBC journalist near Port Moresby 2 August 2023
The wounded NBC journalist . . . hit by a bullet during crossfire in a shootout between police and settlers near Moitaka plant. Image: PNG Post-Courier

PNG Post-Courier

Police in Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District are investigating the shooting yesterday of a woman reporter working with the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Central during an alleged confrontation between police and settlers at 8-Mile in Port Moresby.

In the midst of the firing, allegedly aimed at each other, a stray bullet hit the reporter who was among 13 journalists reporting at the Moitaka plant.

Assistant Commissioner of Police-NCD and Central Anthony Wagambie Jr condemned the shooting, saying “I have directed Metsupt NCD to have police investigators look into this immediately.

“We have to establish what happened and where the bullet came from.

“If this was a stray bullet or intentionally fired. Everyone must respect the work of journalists and protect them as they are the voice of the people.”

The Media Council of Papua New Guinea said in a statement that while commending PNG Power representatives who ensured that an ambulance was arranged to take the wounded journalist to hospital and covered her treatment, it reminded public and corporate organisations that when the media was invited to cover an event in “potentially hostile environments”, precautions must be made to ensure their safety.

The council reaffirmed that it stood ready to work with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) and other law enforcement agencies to find ways that the media could be protected, rather than be caught in the crossfire.

This would take some time and work in sensitising both the public and the media on their equally important roles in the pursuit of truth, information, and awareness, the council statement said.

Moitaka power station progress
According to our reporters, the incident happened when the group had ended their tour of the facility organised by PPL.

The purpose of the visit was to see the progress of the Moitaka Power station and the new Edevu Hydro power construction and transmission lines undertaken by the PNG Hydro Limited and PNG Power.

While the team was at the Moitaka power station, a commotion erupted outside at the nearby residents where multiple gun shots were fired.

A stray bullet from the shootout grazed one of the cameramen and hit the female journalist on her left arm.

The stray bullet lodged into her left arm causing her to bleed as she fell to the ground in shock.

The shootout continued for about 5 minutes with other journalists and PPL staff taking cover.

The journalist was rushed to the Paradise Private Hospital for treatment.

Other reporters did not sustain any injuries. However, they were in shock and traumatised.

The team was accompanied by the PNG Power CEO, Obed Batia, PNG Hydro Ltd managing director Allan Guo, PNG Power chairman, McRonald Nale, and staff of PNG Power.

Republished with permission.

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