At least six people were injured when rival mobs supporting different political parties attacked each other with bush knives and batons as election-related violence escalated in the southwest Pacific Island nation of Papua New Guinea, a local daily reported on Monday.
Mobs went wild in the capital Port Moresby, causing mayhem as common people rushed for safety on Sunday, local newspaper The National reported, adding that at least six people were injured.
The incident happened during the ongoing 18-day general election process, the results of which are due early next month.
Frail communication and lack of facilities make the elections one of the most challenging issues in the country of around 9 million people spread across the island nation with tough terrain.
The ethnically diverse country reports one of the worst inter-ethnic conflicts and armed attacks.
The newspaper claimed last week that approximately 50 individuals had died during the electoral process, which began earlier this month.
“Innocent people ran helter-skelter as political supporters wielding bush knives started chasing and slashing people indiscriminately on the streets in front of City Hall (the National Capital District Commission) building, the daily said.
“People were seen running into the compound of the nearby Vision City Mega Mall for refuge as the assailants went about slashing their victims who collapsed on the spot,” it added.
“How many ways can you report animalistic behavior,” angry police chief David Manning told The Post Courier, a newspaper.
As many as 3,625 candidates are running for a five-year term in the 118-seat parliament. The elections are being held in phases.
Around 5 million voters are expected to cast ballots at 9,905 designated polling stations comprising 11,066 polling booths set up across the four regions – Highlands Region, Mamose Region, New Guinea Islands Region, and Southern Region.