Two men are reported dead and six others badly wounded during what has been described as an ambushed in Komo Magarima District in the Hela Province.
Of the six wounded, four are PNG Defence Force personnel based in Tari.
The two civilians killed were believed to have died from bullet wounds prompting locals to demand police investigations into the killings.
Of the four soldiers injured, one solider was hit with a thrown rock, he is now recovering from jaw injuries, another suffered a spear wound to his right shoulder and the other is nursing injuries to ribs and upper spinal cord.
A village elder at Porodaka in lower Wage LLG in Komo Magarima, told EMTV News this morning that the vehicle that was reported stolen from Ipwenz Construction Company in Tari, was only taken by a man who claimed relatives of the Managing Director of Ipwenz Construction, carjerked his private vehicle four months ago and never returned it.
“Some months ago, the man who stole the car from Ipwenz was held up by men in Mendi, they never returned his car, he had gone back and forth to police and saw so good response so he took a car from the Ipwenz Construction to get the attention of the MD,” the village elder said.
Last Friday, a team of PNGDF personnel based in Tari upon the request of police in Hela, drove to Keme village to retrieve the stolen car.
The village elder said, Upon arrival, police officers went straight to where the car was kept and started the car using screw drivers.
“Seeing this, the locals attacked the soliders because they drove in on eight cars and started swearing at the locals who were talking with the Magarima PSC, they dug up a trench to slow the movement of police and soliders out of the village, the elder said
“The locals dug up trenches and one villager used a sling shot and shot at the army car, that was when the Soliders realtiated shot at us injuring three men and killing two instantly, the village elder said.
Police in Hela are expected to launch an investigation into this incident. But from we EMTV News has gathered, M16 riffles and homemade guns were used during the exchange of gun shots.
EMTV News has contacted PNGDF Head Quarters in Port Moresby for an official comment on the this incident, however it is understood this is the latest string of attacks on police and defense force personnel in the Highlands Region.
By Theckla Gunga, EMTV News, Port Moresby
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