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Papua New Guinea's deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel is expected to update the nation in a press conference today on his besieged township of Alotau as police prepare to send in reinforcements to hunt down a group of criminals terrorising the formerly peaceful town.
According to reports reaching Port Moresby, criminals struck last night, burning down the local police barracks, stole an ATM machine and also looted several shops.
Local police have warned all citizens in Alotau town to stay away and off the streets as reports says two of the criminals were shot dead, the provincial legal officer killed and two police houses burnt to the ground..
Post Courier reporter in Alotau Neville Togarewa reports the streets remain deserted as local police take stock of the situation.
A once sleepy outpost known for its friendly people and popular for as a port of call for international tourist ships, Alotau’ s sparkling island style reputation has fallen as criminal activity has built up over the years.
The mastermind behind the brazen attacks on is an escapee Tommy Maeva Baker, who escaped from Alotau’s Gill Gigi Jail.
Eyewitness from Alotau have confirmed that the provincial legal officer was caught in a crossfire and was shot dead.
The lawyer was driving down a part of town call Red Hill after visiting family and was passing between the elementary school and the Government Works Department offices.
Unfortunately criminals were in a gunfight with cops in the area.
His wife, who was with him, escaped. His body was retrieved.
Reports suggest the criminals held up security guards at gunpoint and raided a major supermarket. They also removed an ATM at gunpoint in a hotel premises.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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