Asylum seekers on Manus Island have been told to stay in their accommodation after three men were allegedly attacked and injured by soldiers from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
The asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Pakistan said they were set upon by a group of soldiers while walking in the main town on the island, Lorengau on February 16.
They suffered a number of injuries and were treated in the Lorengau hospital and the special clinic at the refugee transit centre.
Pakistani refugee Mumtaz Ali said a man ran up behind him while he was walking through Lorengau in the rain.
"I thought that he wanted to share my umbrella with me," he said.
"When I turned my face to him, he directly punched me on my face, on my right eye, right-side eye, then I fall on the ground and he started kicking me."
Mr Ali said the attack left him with a black eye and scrapes to his arms and hands.
Another Pakistani refugee, Walid Zazai, said several men were attacked, and the incident caused panic in Lorengau.
"I saw that local people were running here and there, and I could see a Chinese store they were shutting down," he said.
"This was just so scary.
"When I just saw people running here and there and I was too scared to be honest.
"Now I am thinking that maybe I never go to the town again because of these things, because it was too scary."
Mr Zazai said the incident showed the asylum seekers were right to fear being forced to relocate to the main town from the Australian-funded detention centre.
"We were scared and we had concerns that this kind of thing would happen," he said.
Sudanese refugee Aziz Adam said the attack appeared to be related to an incident on Good Friday last year, when soldiers fired their guns into the detention centre after a fist fight with asylum seekers.
"There were two refugees on their way to go to the bank … suddenly they just get attacked by those Navy [men] because they are drunk," he said.
"From that moment [of the] Good Friday shooting, the navies are still so upset and so aggressive."
Manus Island Police confirmed an incident occurred, but said they did not yet have any details about who attacked the asylum seekers.