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  • avi.morax avi.morax Apr 18, 2014 11:08 AM Flag

    heightened tensions

    OPM hideouts burnt by PNG Defence Force

    Mon 14 Apr 2014

    VANIMO, PNG ---Papua New Guinea Defence Force soldiers have burnt down OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) camps on the PNG side of the border, according to intelligence sources at the border.

    The source said PNGDF soldiers mounted an operation last Friday to clear the Wutung area of OPM militants and in doing so burnt down and destroyed bush camps suspected of harbouring the militants.

    The source said additional PNG troops were flown in from Igam Barracks in Morobe Province and Moem Barracks from neighbouring East Sepik Province last Thursday to beef up the strength of PNG troops at the Wutung border post. More PNG government officials and troops were supposed to have been airlifted out of Port Moresby on Saturday but the army plane was diverted to Daru, Western Province, on standby to assist in the Cyclone Ita operations, on instructions from the National Executive Council.

    Prior to the troubles at the border, the PNG troops was only a section strong and was later beefed up by another section from the Vanimo forward base, and they were only involved in surveillance and keeping watch over the properties of the PNG Government and lives of PNG citizens. But the source said Friday’s operation was a change of tactics and in the bid to flush out the militants and end the trouble at the border.

    The militants are reported to have fled into the jungles but still on the PNG side of the border towards Vanimo, the capital of West Sepik Province and up towards the Bewani ranges. The source said the Wutung people in general were happy that the camps were destroyed because they want normalcy restored at the border and the border re-opened....

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