Papua New Guinea: Armed group has launched its final three hostages, PM says
A gaggle of hostages being held for ransom by armed criminals in a distant area of Papua New Guinea have all now been freed, the nation’s Prime Minister James Marape stated Sunday.
“We apologize to the families of those taken as hostages for ransom, it took us a while but the last three have been successfully returned through covert operations with no (ransom) paid,” Marape wrote in a Facebook put up.
A gaggle of 4 hostages, which included overseas residents and native guides, had been captured by a gaggle of closely armed males described by nationwide police on Monday as “opportunists”, however one in every of them – a girl – was freed on Wednesday.
In a tweet on Sunday, New Zealand’s overseas minister Nanaia Mahuta welcomed the discharge of the group, which included a New Zealander who’s a professor at an Australian college.
PNG Police Commissioner David Manning had beforehand stated the hostage-takers had noticed the group “by chance” and brought them into the bush.
“These are opportunists that have obviously not thought this situation through before they acted, and have been asking for cash to be paid,” Manning stated.
Papua New Guinea, a Pacific nation of greater than 9 million individuals, shares an island with the restive Indonesian area of Papua.
In a separate incident earlier this month, a New Zealand pilot was taken hostage by separatist fighters in Papua. Identified 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 each one incoming flights to Paro Airport be stopped and stated the pilot wouldn’t be launched till the Indonesian authorities acknowledged Papuan independence.