Farm animals were also slaughtered when several PNG Defense Force officers, armed with weapons, attacked settlers residing on a private property at 7 mile.
The attack followed an incident that occurred last Saturday between one of the soldiers and three male youths residing on this private property belonging to Robert Gall.
Landowner Mr Gall said the soldiers returned to collect a 20 thousand kina compensation they had imposed on families of the three youths.
Resident Toyam Tafo said women and children ran into the bushes in fear while the men stood helpless as the soldiers walked onto the property, beating residents and slaughtering farm animals. Seven hundred kina in cash that was made from selling chickens, including school uniforms and documents were valuables lost in the fire.
Only three pigs remained of the farm animals that were attacked. Two of them had deep lacerations. Chickens and a family of dogs were burnt along with the houses, but not before the homes were looted. Mr Tafo said the other animals that were killed were taken away by the soldiers.
He said more than 10 soldiers came in three vehicles. They were identified from the military uniform they wore. Others were in civilian. At present, five male residents are in hospital nursing serious injuries incurred by the soldiers.
Mr Gall said there were police officers from the six mile police station who went to his property with the soldiers, but failed to prevent property from being destroyed.
He condemned their actions and said the civil society is at grave risk because solvable incidents involving disciplinary forces were likely to result in destruction and even loss of life.
The incident at 7 mile is not the first by the PNGDF soldiers. Others include the attack on Vadavada settlers last year where two homes were burnt to the ground, and another was the UPNG medical students’ attack in July this years. Both incidents resulted after soldiers had disagreements with members of the public. [EMTV]