Police in Papua New Guinea have launched a rescue mission after a gaggle of overseas residents and native guides have been taken hostage by armed criminals in a distant area of the nation, police stated in an announcement Monday.
Amongst these being held for ransom is an Australian educational, CNN associates 9 Information and Seven Information reported, citing Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape.
Police stated negotiations are ongoing to safe the hostages’ launch and they might use “all obligatory drive” to free them. The police assertion stated the group is being held at Fogoma’iu village within the Southern Highlands province, however didn’t say what number of hostages have been taken.
PNG Police Commissioner David Manning stated the criminals noticed the group “by probability” and took them into the bush.
“These are opportunists which have clearly not thought this example via earlier than they acted, and have been asking for money to be paid,” Manning stated, including that authorities are “providing the abductors a approach out.”
“They’ll launch their captives and they are going to be handled pretty via the prison justice system, however failure to conform and resisting arrest might value these criminals their lives,” he stated.
Manning added that contact is being maintained with “related diplomatic representatives” till the case is resolved.
Australia’s Division of Overseas Affairs and Commerce has not publicly commented on the matter.
Papua New Guinea, a Pacific nation of greater than 9 million individuals, shares an island with the restive Indonesian area of Papua.
Earlier this month, a New Zealand pilot was taken hostage by separatist fighters in Papua. Recognized by native police as Philip Mehrtens, the pilot was captured after touchdown a industrial Susi Air constitution flight at Paro Airport within the distant highlands of the Nduga regency.
The group beforehand demanded that every one incoming flights to Paro Airport be stopped and stated the pilot wouldn’t be launched till the Indonesian authorities acknowledged Papuan independence.