One dead, several wounded in Bulolo clash in PNG

Warriors advance for attack. Picture source. The National
ONE man is dead and several others wounded as families fled in fear of their lives during a dawn raid by armed Watuts last Saturday in Bulolo town.
The attack is believed to be in retaliation over an earlier attack on two Watut men at Bulolo market by some drunk youth from Bubu on Friday afternoon.
 The two Watut men were hospitalised. 
Watut men in their hundreds mobilised last Friday afternoon and camped outside Bulolo town in haus-man camps with their elders before they raided Bulolo town at around 5am. 
They attacked Bubu family homes.
Bulolo police, including the Bulolo-based mobile squad 15 unit, were outnumbered and could not do much. 
They could only guard Government properties and shops near the Bulolo market.
Residents from other ethnic backgrounds and provinces watched in fear as the first wave of Watut attack took place on homes and properties.
Bulolo district administrator Tae Guambalek confirmed that more than 40 houses were burnt down and a Bubu man is fighting for his life in hospital.
“On Saturday morning, they chopped an elderly Bubu man who lost his life,” Guambalek said.
“The situation is still tense as the Watuts from Upper Watut are still on their way here for the second and third wave of attack.”
George Marcus, a Watut community leader, said: “An old Watut man from the village who was selling his brus at the market was approached by a group of drunk Goilala men who asked him for money. When he refused, they stabbed him on the shoulder and he nearly had his head chopped off. He ducked and was slashed on the head.
“A young man who went to check was shot with an arrow by the Bubu. After that police intervened and things cooled off. But we didn’t know that there was going to be an attack. It’s just this morning that we were caught off guard by the attack.”
Marcus said the old man and the youth from Watut were being treated at Angau General Hospital in Lae.
A visiting government delegation led by Bulolo MP Sam Basil, Huon Gulf MP Ross Seymour and Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Tobias Kulang, who were travelling up the highway to attend the Bulolo cultural show, drove into Bulolo town while the Watuts were still raiding houses. 
Basil is expected to hold a crisis meeting with other stakeholders to see how best they can contain the situation from escalating.

The National

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