As a result of widespread disturbance and rioting in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, at least eight people have been killed.
Following a police strike over a pay dispute, hundreds of individuals took to the streets, where automobiles and shops were torched and supermarkets were pillaged.
Governor of the National Capital District Powes Parkop stated on the radio that "opportunists" were responsible for the theft.
The army has been mobilised by the administration in an effort to restore order. Additionally, seven individuals reportedly died in the city of Lae.
Lae, which is the second most populated metropolis in Papua New Guinea, is seeing a level of violence that is not being accurately reported.
It was claimed by sources that Mr. Parkop made the following statement during a radio address: "We have witnessed an unparalleled level of strife in our city, something that has never occurred before in the annals of our city or our nation."
In addition, he stated, "Today, a number of tragic folks lost their lives," but he did not provide any specifics regarding the number of casualties.
The unrest was instigated on Wednesday when police and other public servants initiated a protest strike outside of parliament in response to the revelation that their salaries had been reduced by as much as 50%.
Due to a computer error, approximately $100 (£78) had been deducted from the paychecks of public servants, according to Prime Minister James Marape. Furthermore, contrary to what the protesters alleged, the government was not increasing taxes.
According to the sources, Mr. Marape stated, "Social media caught up on this incorrect information, misinformation," adding that individuals took advantage of the police's absence from the streets.
There were enormous crowds and looting seen on television video that was broadcast throughout the city. The fire consumed a number of buildings, one of which being a significant shopping mall.
It was reported that medical workers had treated a number of people who had been shot, and the United States Embassy received reports of gunshots in the area surrounding its compound..
On Wednesday evening, initial reports of fatalities began to spread, despite the fact that the most of the violence had subsided by that point. It is estimated that roughly 400,000 people call Port Moresby their home.
On Thursday, Australia, a significant security partner and Papua New Guinea's neighbour, issued a call for peace and tranquilly in the country. The country of Papua New Guinea can be found in the middle of Australia and Australia.
Since his meeting with the head of Australia a month ago, Mr. Marape has not yet made a plea for the aid of the nation in maintaining peace.
During the midst of an economic slump that is defined by elevated levels of inflation and unemployment, the prime minister has been subjected to increased levels of pressure. A vote of no confidence against him has been organised by the opposition, and they have made efforts to organise it.
Unhappiness among the general population was the root cause of the turmoil that occurred on Wednesday, according to observers.