Sunday, September 18, 2011

Death of a criminal

Some of you may remember there was a really bad guy near our center about a year ago named Patrick Sirah.  According to this article he has been killed in a village across the river from where we live named Banana block also home to  baby Paul and Laura.  See our previous blog post.


A notorious gangster once feared in Kainantu is dead but his shooting death on Wednesday incited a full scale invasion of the Eastern Highlands gateway.
Eastern Highlands police chief Augustine Wampe named the dead criminal as Patrick Sirah who was wanted for armed robberies, rape, murder and other serious crimes including trying to shoot down a mission-owned light aircraft.
Mr Wampe said Sirah, 37, was shot at Banana Block in Kainantu by tribal enemies and his death sparked an invasion of the small town by his bandit mates.
They went on a riot in the town on Wednesday forcing schools, the hospital and all businesses to shut down operations and residents stayed indoors in fear of their lives.
Supt Wampe said police reinforcements were sent from Goroka to help the local police and a member of the local task force was shot and rushed to the Goroka Base Hospital.
Sirah reportedly sustained bullet wounds and was taken to a remote health clinic in Kainantu but died later.
Mr Wampe said a police patrol went into the area and retrieved his body and took it to the Goroka morgue.
The PPC said following Sirah’s death, a large group of men came into town yesterday and tried to loot shops but police intervened and dispersed the looters.
During the melee, a member of the Kainantu Task Force was shot and critically injured as police tried to repel the looters, many of whom were armed with guns and knives.
Mr Wampe said, the policeman’s assailants could be related to Sirah because the attack happened a day after he was killed in the gun fight.
Mr Wampe said staff of the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Ukarumpa helped evacuate the injured policeman by shuttling him in one of their light planes to Goroka and the medical staff at Goroka hospital conducted the emergency operation to save the policeman’s life.
The injured policeman, from West Sepik Province, is recovering but under intensive care.
.He is alleged to have killed raped, tortured and robbed countless victims across Kainantu and Aiyur
He is also alleged to have killed the wife of a senior provincial government officer in Goroka town last year.
In 2009, police launched a massive manhunt after Sirah’s gang murdered three people in Ukarumpa and set some houses on fire.
His gang was also alleged to have used high powered guns to shoot a small aeroplane in mid air while it was trying to land at Ukarumpa.
The bullets pierced the aircraft’s fuselage but the pilot landed the aeroplane safely and Sirah and his gang evaded a police dragnet by fleeing into the mountains.
This incident and many other countless felonies reportedly perpetrated by Sirah and his gang made them one of the most feared criminal gangs in the Eastern Highlands province Acting Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Operations Fred Yakasa condemned the attack on the policeman and vowed that police reinforcements would be sent into Kainantu to track down the rest of the gang.

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