Alwaght- At least 24 children and women, including a pregnant women, have been killed in a tribal massacre in Papua New Guinea’s Hela province.
The killings happened on early Monday morning during a raid on Karida, a village of about 800 people in the interior of the country.
Authorities say the region has for years struggled with violence, at times driven by disputes over the distribution of land and resource wealth.
Details are still emerging from the remote central area, but the violence appears to have been a string of attacks and counter-attacks over several days.
Hela provincial administrator William Bando told AFP news agency that 24 people were dead and there could be more.
Local news agency EMTV reported at least two incidents in small villages in the Tari-Pori district.
On Sunday, seven people - four men and three women - were killed in Munima village. Then on Monday, 16 women and children were hacked to death in the village of Karida, EMTV said. Two of the women were pregnant.
According to the Post-Courier newspaper, the attacks took place on Saturday and Sunday with six people killed the first day and 16 - including two pregnant women - in a retaliatory attack the following day.
Pills Pimua Kolo from the Hela province department of health posted pictures on Facebook of what he said was the massacre in Karida village.
The pictures show a row of bodies wrapped in cloth and tied to long poles. He said some of them had been chopped into pieces and their body parts were hard to recognise.