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Student Protesters Killed When Police Open Fire In Papua New Guinea

Warning: graphic images.

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Police have opened fire on a group of students marching from the University of Papua New Guinea to parliament in the nation's capital, Port Moresby, on Wednesday, killing four and injuring seven, reports ABC.

Student planned protest to parliament today marred by lethal shooting by trigger happy cops #PNG #BreakingNews

Around 1,000 students gathered to protest against prime minister Peter O'Neill's handling of corruption allegations and the way he has managed Papua New Guinea's economy.

.@JulieBishopMP re #PNG shooting: Says Austn govt calls on all sides for calm & to respect the peaceful & lawful right to protest. @abcnews

Port Moresby General Hospital told the ABC 10 students had been admitted to hospital.

Photos of students allegedly shot at by police making the rounds on the Internet #PNG

Students said officers aimed weapons directly at the crowd when students refused to let them arrest the president of the student council.

Reports that police open fire against University of #PNG students protest against O'Neill govt #breakingnews #news

This tweet allegedly shows footage of police opening fire.

A glimpse of how the shootings started with #PNG Police open firing on #UPNG students. More coming as students share

"It is a tragedy and we urge for calm, to de-escalate tensions between the students and the police," Bishop said.

There had been student protests at the university "for almost five weeks", she said.

"We ask that the right to protest peacefully and lawfully be respected."

Local radio station Yumi FM has reported that a nurse at Port Moresby General Hospital has confirmed two students have been confirmed dead, with one female in an intensive care unit.

Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson has condemned the violence.

"The police shooting of protesting students in Port Moresby is shocking, and a truly terrible incident for which all security officials responsible for using lethal force unnecessarily need to be brought to justice," he said.

"Prime minister Peter O'Neill should immediately launch an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation, and all officials found criminally culpable for orders and actions resulting in injuries and deaths should be held to account, no matter what their rank."