PNG police open fire on protesting students - official | Reuters

 PNG police open fire on protesting students - official
| Reuters

SYDNEY Police in Papua New Guinea have opened fire on university students who were planning to march from their campus to parliament to demand Prime Minister Peter O'Neill face corruption allegations, a provincial governor said on Wednesday.

A major aid agency, which declined to be named as its report was preliminary, said it had information from the university clinic that at least 15 students were wounded, with four killed.

A Port Moresby General Hospital said 10 students had been admitted. "They are in a difficult situation," the admissions officer told Reuters.

Thousands of students at the University of Papua New Guinea in the capital of Port Moresby have been protesting and boycotting classes for weeks amid growing political unrest in the Pacific island nation.

The governor of Oro Province Gary Juffa, a critic of the O'Neill government, said on Twitter that he had spoken directly with students at the protest.

"Informed that several were shot," Juffa said, adding that the incident started with an argument between a metropolitan police superintendent and a student.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted a student, Gerald Peni, saying police fired shots directly into the crowd when students would not let them arrest the president of the student council.

Papua New Guinea's opposition made a fourth unsuccessful attempt this week to unseat O'Neill's government via a no confidence bid, gaining some support from members of the leader's own party.

(Reporting by Jane Wardell, Colin Packham and Jonathan Barrett; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2016 07:16:51 IST