Students bloodied, Pacific nation bars protests

SYDNEY -- The University of Papua New Guinea has obtained a court order banning student protesters from further demonstrations after a violent scuffle with police, as officials this morning tried to piece together what happened during a clash that left scores of students wounded.

The injunction from the National Court restricts the students involved in Wednesday's confrontation from boycotting classes and barricading or locking classrooms in protest.

The court order was issued after police fired gunshots to quell a student protest in the South Pacific nation's capital, Port Moresby. The students have been demanding for weeks that Prime Minister Peter O'Neill resign because of alleged corruption and mismanagement.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the situation in Port Moresby remained volatile today, and that Australia had offered Papua New Guinea help to stem further unrest.

The exact number of protesters who were hurt was unclear. O'Neill said five people had been injured; the country's police commissioner, citing information from hospitals, said 23 were hurt, five critically; and Amnesty International said 38 people were injured, four critically.

Both sides blamed each other. O'Neill said he was told a small group of students became violent, threw rocks at police and "provoked a response that came in the form of tear gas and warning shots." Protesters said they had done nothing to prompt aggression from police and accused the officers of firing directly at students.

A Section on 06/09/2016

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