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POLICEMEN IN CUSTODY (Post-Courier 3/7/03)

Policemen in custody TWO policemen are in police custody in the Southern Highlands Province after they allegedly shot dead a security guard at Moro oil field last week. Acting Southern Highlands provincial police commander Anton Billy said yesterday the two policemen had wanted to enter the Iagifu oil and gas area but were not allowed in by security staff because they were with unauthorised passengers in the vehicle. He said the frustrated policemen allegedly jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire with police-issued guns. He said the firing resulted in one bystander shot dead while another received pellets in his body. The injured man was being treated at Moro. Mr Billy said the two accused policemen were attached to Mobile Squad four in Port Moresby and were in the province to provide security to the oil field. He said Moro police quickly intervened and arrested the two policemen who are in police custody at Moro police station. He said they would file charges against the two policemen after the investigation. In other reports, two policemen were attacked by local people and their vehicle damaged. Mr Billy said the two policemen were attacked on Monday after returning from conducting peace negotiations in Pangia. The negotiations were related to a fatal road accident in which the relatives of the deceased had set up a roadblock at the Lama saw mill in the middle of the Ialibu Pangia border. Mr Billy said the 10-seater bus had all the windows and lights damaged. He appealed to the people to understand that the police were there to help them and people had no right to attack them. Mr Billy also said the people have taken the Ialibu Health Centre ambulance covered it with mud all over and were driving it around. He appealed for the vehicle to be returned to the health centre but todate, there has been no response from the people.

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