Woman held hostage in Papua New Guinea released, but Australian professor and two local researchers still in custody captured by armed groups in the remote highlands of the country.
The remaining three POWs are believed to be in reasonable health despite being held in difficult terrain.
“The release of one female Papua New Guinean prisoner of war is a positive outcome and negotiations are continuing towards the safe release of the remaining two Papua New Guinean women and one male New Zealand citizen,” the police chief said. David Manning said in a statement. .
A university professor new zealand The citizen but Australian resident was reportedly confronted by armed kidnappers on Sunday while conducting research with University of Papua New Guinea graduates and guides near Mount Bosavi.
They moved hostages between villages in the area and the Western End Deputy Police Commissioner, John Cale, told ABCHe is concerned that the hostages may move again through villages and dense forests.
The kidnappers demanded payment from PNG and the Australian government.
Manning described the shooter as an “opportunist” and the situation as “delicate”.
Negotiations to “seek a peaceful settlement” are underway. However, Manning says that if anyone in captivity is harmed, the kidnapper will receive an “immediate security response”. can be sacrificed.”
The missionaries were cooperating with the police on the ground and spoke with the professor via satellite phone. report.
“We continue to work on improving communications, but this remains a challenge for this operation,” Manning said.
He also warned social media users and administrators of social media platforms not to post false information about security operations. This was after false rumors began circulating on social media claiming that foreign military personnel were involved in the operation.
“The dissemination of fake news can complicate security operations with tragic consequences. increase.”
Manning said the operation to free the prisoners is under the control of the PNG police, along with the defense forces and internal security services.
“One of the prisoners is a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia, and both High Commissions continue to be briefed on the situation.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/23/png-hostage-freed-australian-professor-researchers-captive-papua-new-guinea-mount-bosavi The PNG hostages were released, but the Australian professor and two local researchers were still held captive.Papua New Guinea