PNG PM denies Manus Islanders attacked asylum seekers | Pacific Beat

PNG PM denies Manus Islanders attacked asylum seekers

PNG PM denies Manus Islanders attacked asylum seekers

Updated 21 February 2014, 12:22 AEST

It's now three days since the riots at the Australian asylum seeker detention and processing centre on Manus Island in PNG, and confusion still reigns around exactly what happened, why it happened, and what will be the final response.

What is known is that after two nights of riots, one person is dead, 77 people have been injured some seriously, including those who suffered wounds from gunfire. Since then extra PNG Police and Defence personnel have been flown in, and the Head of Australia's military response to try and stop asylum seekers Operation Sovereign Borders Major General Angus Campbell has flown to the island, apparently backed up by a private security force, to take control.

And while there have been no new incidents reported, there has also been no official reports about the situation in the camps. But since yesterday there have also been conflicting reports. Some quoting staff at the centre, claim the riots were instigated by the detainees, who goaded PNG guards with insults, and then armed themselves with whatever they could find to attack the locals. Other reports have refuted claims that Manus Islanders working at the centre were not involved, saying the locals willingly took part in attacking detainees.

The claim has been denied completely by PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neil

Presenter: Bruce Hill

Liam Fox, ABC Reporter

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Bruce Hill

Bruce Hill

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Bruce is one of the Pacific’s most experienced journalists with nearly 20 years covering the region and has won several international awards.

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