Four Chinese killed in Papua New Guinea knife attack

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File photo: Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'NeillImage source, AFP
Image caption,
PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said an investigation into the "heinous" crime was underway

Four Chinese nationals have been killed in a knife attack in Papua New Guinea's capital, police say.

The three men and one woman were stabbed to death in their food shop in Port Moresby on Monday night.

The victims had multiple stab wounds on their bodies, police said. Money is said to have been stolen from the shop.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister has condemned the "brutal and cowardly attack" and called on the community to stay calm.

"I have been assured by the police commissioner that no resource will be spared to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be found and brought to face the full force of the law," he said.

He urged the business community, "especially those of Chinese and Asian origin", to stay calm.

"Business should continue as normal," he said.

The premises of the shop was secured with high fences and razor wire, and the attacker or attackers were thought to have jumped over the fence into the premises, local newspaper The National reported.

"There were many knife wounds to their bodies," police commander Andy Bawa said, adding that the killings were "senseless, inhumane and barbaric".

In 2009, riots against Chinese businesses in Papua New Guinea left at least two people dead.

The riots were thought to stem from resentment against Chinese migrants, who are viewed as relatively well-off.

Papua New Guinea recently passed legislation expanding its use of the death penalty, following a number of high-profile and violent crimes.