Police deny shooting PNG student protesters

  • 09/06/2016

Police in Papua New Guinea fired gunshots on Wednesday (local time) to quell a student protest demanding the prime minister's resignation, the government said.

The country's police commissioner said nearly two dozen people were injured, but denied reports that as many as four people were killed.

Students in the South Pacific nation have been demanding for weeks that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill resign because of alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Police officers were dispersing the crowd from outside the University of Papua New Guinea and firing tear gas at a crowd outside Port Moresby General Hospital.

Fires were burning on the street, and police vehicles damaged.

Australia's foreign minister said she had been told by the Australian Embassy that police shot students in the capital Port Moresby as hundreds prepared to march from the University of Papua New Guinea to Parliament.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that a Papua New Guinea lawmaker told parliament that four students had been killed and seven wounded.

"While we were running they shot us, they shot us with guns. I don't know what type of gun they used, but they just shot us," one unidentified injured student says.

Another says "But I got to see a guy, it was literally got shot and he fall on the road. Flat like this and he was instantly dead".

A Papua New Guinea court has granted an injunction barring university students from protesting on campus.

The injunction had been sought by the university.

But student protest leader Noel Anjo told Reuters on Thursday the protesters had no intention of giving up.

"The students are not going to give up until and unless the prime minister resigns or surrenders himself to police and is arrested and charged," Anjo said by phone from Port Moresby.

"This fight will continue."

Reuters / Newshub.