Infighting in Papua New Guinea

This item appears on page 24 of the April 2008 issue.

In Papua New Guinea, tribal clashes rarely occur in densely populated areas, but when a security guard was killed in a hotel brawl in Mount Hagen on Feb. 4, truckloads of tribesmen of the dead man’s family poured into the city to seek revenge against a clan of settlers in makeshift houses.

Initially, one settler was killed before police drove everyone off, but the tribesmen returned, and in the end six people had been killed, several were injured, hundreds were homeless after their huts had been burned, and businesses had been looted. People sought refuge in schools and the police station.