via Reuters and other sources, 20 February 2023: A developing story about hostages taken in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, among them an Australian archaeology professor and researchers. A rescue is underway, and hopefully that this situation can be resolved peacefully.
A police operation is underway to rescue an Australian university professor and three researchers taken hostage in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea, the Pacific island nation’s police commissioner said on Monday evening.
Armed criminals have demanded cash in return for releasing the captives, who included one foreign citizen and three Papua New Guinea students, Police Commissioner David Manning said in a statement, describing the gunmen as “opportunists” and the situation as “delicate”.
“Our specialised security force personnel will use whatever means necessary against the criminals, up to and including the use of lethal force, in order to provide for the safety and security of the people being held,” Manning said.
The professor is an archaeologist who works for an Australian university and was on a field trip to the remote village of Fogoma’iu in the Mount Bosavi region, two sources with knowledge of the incident told Reuters. His companions – local researchers and a project manager from the capital Port Moresby – had also been taken hostage on Sunday, they said.
- Papua New Guinea: Rescue mission under way for researchers taken hostage | BBC News, 21 Feb 2023
- Papua New Guinea police commit to ‘whatever means necessary’ to recover kidnapped Australian professor | The Guardian, 20 Feb 2023
- Australian professor, others taken hostage in Papua New Guinea | Jakarta Post, 20 Feb 2023
- Papua New Guinea: Local researchers and Australian professor taken hostage | BBC, 20 Feb 2023
- Armed group takes Australian professor and three colleagues hostage in remote area of Papua New Guinea | RNZ, 20 Feb 2023
- Papua New Guinea: Police launch operation to free kidnapped Australian university professor and researchers | Evening Standard, 20 Feb 2023
- Australian academic taken hostage in Papua New Guinea | News.com.au, 20 Feb 2023
- Foreigners among those kidnapped in Papua New Guinea | DW, 20 Feb 2023
- Aussie professor is kidnapped from a remote Papua New Guinea village by an armed gang demanding a $1.4MILLION ransom | Daily Mail, 21 Feb 2023