Australia stands ready to support Papua New Guinea authorities in quelling violence after more than 60 people were killed in a “very disturbing” massacre.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the government was ready to assist the Pacific nation, after more than 60 people were reportedly killed in the country’s northern highlands region.

“That is very disturbing the news that has come out of Papua New Guinea,” he told ABC radio.

“We remain available to provide whatever support we can in a practical way, of course, to help our friends in PNG.”

Albanese said Australia was already providing “considerable support” for the important relationship, and was helping train the country’s police officers.

PNG Police in Wapenamanda, Enga province has confirmed that so far since Sunday, 64 bodies have been recovered from the roadside, grassland and hills of Wapenamanda.

Post-Courier confirmed 56 bodies were recovered Sunday and as of today another eight were recovered.

Police further confirmed the fighting in middle Lai is an ongoing tribal fight between Ambulin tribes and its allies with Sikin tribes with their allies.
Assistant Commissioner of Police-Western End, Samson Kua said that the fighting started at 4am on Sunday morning.

Highpowered guns such as SLR, AK47, M4 rifles, AR15, M16, pump action, single shots and homemade gun were used during the battle.

According to security personnel, some bodies are still out there in the bush.

Images had emerged of bodies being loaded on to a police truck.

Meanwhile, PNG Opposition is deeply saddened to learn from developing reports that over 50 men were killed in Wapanamanda, Enga Province, Sunday in ongoing tribal fights.

In a statement, the Opposition called on the National Government to act quickly because it has the power and the resources to do so.

“We stand with the leaders of Enga, particularly Governor Sir Peter Ipatas who has regularly been calling for an escalation in Police capability to improve security in the troubled parts of our country, and especially Enga province,” the statement read.

“We regret the senseless violence that has resulted in families losing fathers, brothers and sons.

“We also regret the collateral damage that these situations cause with women and children being assaulted and abused.”

Every loss of life is a tragedy, these families deserve justice, peace and security and the State needs to provide that the statement further read.

“Additionally, we call on the government to immediately establish where the guns and the bullets are coming from to fuel this senseless violence.”

It is very difficult to buy guns and ammunition in PNG, yet tribal war criminals seem to have easy access to them – this should be a turning point in how the Government responds to senseless gun violence it read.

“In the recent Election Committee hearings in Hagen, the Committee was informed that guns and ammunition are being supplied by members of our own discipline forces.”

“If we don’t already know where the guns and ammunition are originating from, then we need a serious investigation to find the source and prosecute it quickly.”

The issue of guns and their proliferation in the Highlands and other part of the country has been an ongoing and growing concern in Papua New Guinea for a long time now.

Security remains a major issue in PNG, with at least 16 people killed in riots last month.