At least eight people have died amid major rioting and unrest in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, an official confirmed on Thursday.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital city after the police went on strike over a pay dispute, resulting in mass looting of supermarkets, while cars and shops were set ablaze, the BBC reported.

As a result of the unrest, the government has deployed the army to try and restore order.

In a radio broadcast on Thursday, National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop claimed the looting had been carried out by "opportunists" and said the "unprecedented level of strife in our city" is "something that has never happened before in the history of our city and our country", reports the BBC.

Without giving out an exact figurem Parkop also said that "some people sadly lost their life today".

Before the unrest erupted, police personnel and public servants staged a protest on Wednesday outside Parliament after found out that their salaries had been reduced by up to 50 percent.

According to Prime Minister James Marape, up to about $100 had been deducted from the paychecks of public servants because of a computer glitch, and debunked claims by protesters that the government was raising taxes.

"Social media picked up on this wrong information, misinformation," the BBC quoted Marape as saying.

He added that the rioters took advantage of the fact that the police were off the streets.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)