By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
SOUTH Bougainville police commander Paul Kamuai yesterday said a civilian was shot and wounded on Sunday evening at Mongai village in Konnou, South Bougainville, The National reports.
Kamuai said Isaac Malabus, 24, of a mixed Muisuru and Mongai parentage, was recovering at Buka General Hospital after he was rushed to Buka from Buin at 3am yesterday.
“Malabus went to Mongai to vi-sit his mother when he was confronted by five former Mekamui combatants who are now followers of former commander and gang leader Damien Koike,” he said.
“The criminals ordered Malabus to sit down and questioned him on the whereabouts of freedom fighters in the area.
“When he said he did not know anything, he was shot below the knee and stomach,” Kamuai said.
He said tension among communities in the Konnou constituency was high.
“Criminal elements do not normally go to Mongai because the area is known to have its own home guards.
“The villagers are living in fear because the criminals crossed into Mongai territory deep in the night, searching for the village chief and his home guards,” Kamuai said.
In a related incident, Kamuai reported Buin police had received reports that a former police scout was killed in Konnou last Wednesday.
“Our local sources said the alleged murder occurred deep inside Koike’s territory, next to Siniminoi alluvial gold mine, Koike’s economic base,” Kamuai said.
He said the victim was known to police because, during his time as a home guard at Mongai, he was a police scout helping the South Bougainville police.
“In 2008, he was wounded by an AR15 at Mogoroi, got treated at the Buka hospital and, on discharge, went deep into Koike’s territory.
“I cannot confirm if the former scout was killed,” Kamuai said.