Immigration

Nine injured in Manus Island shooting, Immigration Department confirms

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Nine people were injured in the Good Friday shooting on Manus Island, a Senate inquiry has heard.

Nine people were injured during a Good Friday shooting at the Manus Island offshore immigration processing centre, it has been revealed.

Australian officials have been grilled about the initial response to the shooting, which was initially reported as Papua New Guinea military personnel discharging a weapon into the air and no injuries. 

Immigration boss Michael Pezzullo told a senate committee hearing it had since become clear many more shots were fired and quite a number were "fired laterally" into the centre compound. 

Five of the injured were centre staff and two were detainees. One was a PNG defence force officer and another was a PNG immigration officer.

None was seriously injured. 

"It appears that a number of, the number of weapons employed was greater than one," Mr Pezzullo said. 

"Many shots were fired, it was dangerous and unacceptable, and people need to be held to account." 

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has repeatedly stated PNG soldiers opened fire on the centre because they were concerned about the welfare of a young boy who was allegedly led into the compound. 

Greens senator Nick McKim quizzed Mr Pezzullo about whether his department had advised Mr Dutton that the alleged incident involving a boy had triggered the shooting.

Mr Pezzullo said his department had advised the minister several times the atmosphere at the centre and its surrounds "has been one characterised increasingly by tensions."

"Particularly in relation to concerns held by local residents in terms of the behaviour of certain persons associated with the centre," he said.

"That includes concerns about the treatment of both women and children."

Senator McKim tried unsuccessfully to have Mr Pezzullo confirm the apparent incident involving the boy was a specific trigger. 

"We certainly have information to suggest that a number of factors contributed to the events on Good Friday, and we've advised the minister accordingly," Mr Pezzullo said.

With SBS World News

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