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PNG to probe tipsy rampage at Australia refugee camp

SYDNEY

Drunk soldiers “went on a rampage” and fired shots in the air at an Australian asylum-seeker camp in Papua New Guinea, police said on Sunday, in the latest violence to rock the scandal-hit facility.

PNG police announced an investigation into the unrest at the Manus Island facility, an offshore processing centre reopened in 2012 to detain people who try to enter Australia by boat.

The incident was sparked by an altercation at a football game played by asylum-seekers at a navy base outside the compound late on Friday, according to detainees and refugee advocates.

Later, “drunken soldiers in retaliation for one of their colleague who was allegedly assaulted by an asylum-seeker” entered the detention centre, shouting and throwing objects, the Royal PNG Constabulary said in a statement on Sunday.

One senior immigration officer and an asylum-seeker were treated at a medical centre, the statement added, without giving further details. Manus Provincial Police Commander Senior Inspector David Lapu said he “will leave no stones unturned” in his investigation into the incident.

“Someone will answer for what happened,” he added. Australia’s immigration department said one man was injured by a rock thrown into the centre, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Reuters