Australian professor and local researchers taken hostage in Papua New Guinea

 

 

Papua New Guinea
Image source: Dominic Perry

Just a few weeks after a New Zealand pilot was kidnapped, separatists have abducted an Australian professor in the region of Papua New Guinea.

Also abducted were local researchers. The group was reportedly taken hostage by armed men while on a study trip in a remote highland. The abductors have reportedly made a ransom request.

The government of Papua New Guinea is in contact with the abductors, according to James Marape. He also stated that his office is working to ensure the hostages’ safe release.

There are claims that a larger group was initially captured; however, some local guides have since been freed.

Although the exact number is unknown, Australian news outlets estimate there may be four to five detainees. These people include academics and students from Papua New Guinea as well as an archaeologist from an Australian university.

Reports indicate that government officials have made contact and confirmed the status of the abductees

He said that authorities and the kidnappers were in “constant conversations” and that the military and police were ready to help.

But first, he continued, “we want these crooks to free the prisoners.”

“There is nowhere to hide or run away from.”

Due to the sensitive nature of the incident, the Prime minister declined to say when they were taken.

He has also appealed to the families of the hostages to remain calm and that the government will do everything to get to back.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not yet commented on the incident.

 

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