SYDNEY (Reuters) – Rioting, looting and gunshots erupted in the capital of Papua New Guinea on Wednesday after police opened fire on a student demonstration, wounding about a dozen people and killing as many as four, officials and residents said.
A groundswell of political unrest has surged in the island nation, just to Australia’s north, in recent weeks amid calls for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to resign over corruption allegations.
People in Port Moresby reported police firing on the public and using tear gas to disperse crowds during a protest at the University of PNG’s Waigani campus. Papua New Guinea, formerly administered by Australia, struggles with endemic violence and poverty despite a wealth of mineral resources. It is ranked 139 out of 168 in Transparency International’s corruption index.