Clan killings at Papua New Guinea gasfields

Rowan Callick, 4/2/10

Fighting has claimed 16 lives over the past week at villages near both ends of a planned 600km pipeline down which will flow Papua New Guinea’s great new economic hope, its $16.5 billion gas project. As a result, project leader Exxon/Mobil has suspended road building work by Queensland-based Curtain Brothers for the liquefaction plant near Port Moresby. A second, $8bn project was announced recently by InterOil, which is based in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, and is largely operated from Cairns. The first of the latest killings came in an early morning raid by villagers from Erave district in Southern Highlands, against an enemy clan that lives in an area without road access. The attackers used high-powered guns to kill 11 people.