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Manus Island staff evacuated after confrontation with PNG agencies

Staff Reporter 10/17/2013 | | |
Manus Process Center: Photo. Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Detainees left alone for an hour, witness says, as Scott Morrison says he believes no one from processing centre was harmed. The immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed that Australian staff were evacuated from the regional processing centre on Manus Island after an incident involving “Papua New Guinean agencies”.

The minister, who said he had not been fully briefed on the incident, said details were a “matter for the Papua New Guinean government to address”.

He said he believed all Australian staff were safe and he was unaware of any injuries among detainees on Manus.

Guardian Australia spoke to a witness to the evacuation who said it had occurred about 9.30am on Friday. The witness, who did not want to be identified, said detainees had been left alone in the compound as all service workers, including contractors and Department of Immigration staff, evacuated the regional processing centre.

The witness said a guard had said the agencies involved had been the PNG police and the PNG army.

“Everyone was scared, everyone was asking what was going on,” the witness said.

The PNG high commission in Canberra said it was unaware of the matter. Guardian Australia has contacted PNG's department of foreign affairs but has not yet received a response.

The witness said staff from some agencies, including the security provider G4S, had returned to the compound after an hour.

The Guardian 

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