Official says police shoot students in Papua New Guinea

CANBERRA, Australia — Police have shot students protesting against Papua New Guinea's prime minister in the South Pacific nation's capital of Port Moresby on Wednesday. Australia's foreign minister said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she had been advised by Australia's embassy in Port Moresby of the violence as hundreds of students prepared to march from the University of PNG to Parliament.

"I know that students have been shot, but we're still trying to determine whether there have been deaths and how many have been injured," Bishop told reporters.

"We call on all sides to be calm and to de-escalate the tension and certainly call on all sides to respect the peaceful and lawful right to protest," she said.

The students have been demanding for weeks that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill resign because of alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported a lawmaker told Parliament that four students had been killed and seven wounded.

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Lawmaker Gary Juffa spoke to students after the shooting and was told "one of the students got killed instantly and others are in serious and critical conditions," his personal assistant Joe Duhube told AP.

There were also complaints of other forms of police brutality against the students at a police roadblock erected outside the university.

Police spokesman Domonic Kakas said he could not immediately comment and would issue a statement later Wednesday.

-AP

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