UK & World News
Papua New Guinea: Deadly Ambush On Tourists
Bandits in Papua New Guinea have attacked a group of hikers from Australia and New Zealand, hacking two of their guides to death.
Six men armed with guns, a spear and bush knives ambushed the group as they walked along a track through the Pacific island nation, leaving a number of the tourists with injuries.
"The attack resulted in the deaths of two Papua New Guinea nationals who were porters for the group," a spokesman for Australia's foreign affairs department (DFAT) said.
"Other members of the group, including eight Australians, one New Zealander and a number of Papua New Guinea nationals, sustained injuries during the attack, however none of the injuries are life-threatening."
It was not clear what sparked the assault.
"Three of the porters suffered lacerations to their arms and eyes, one was wounded on both legs," police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.
"They all had their passports stolen. One man was speared in the left leg. Another has a head laceration, cuts on left elbow and bruises and cut on his back."
One of the Australians had his left arm slashed, he added.
Some of the group walked for hours to seek help, and all the injured were later treated at a clinic in Wau, where they spent the night.
Workers at a local mining company helped the injured trekkers, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Rescue operator Morobe Mining Joint Venture spokesman Stanley Komunt said the 10 surviving porters had been flown to Lae hospital for treatment.
"We were told one porter had been killed, then found it was two," he said. "They are all at Lae receiving medical treatment."
The group were hiking along the Black Cat Track, which runs between Wau and Salamaua in northern Papua New Guinea.
It was the scene of bitter fighting between Australian and US troops against Japanese forces in 1943 and is regarded as one of the most challenging treks in the wild due to the mountainous country.
"The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has provided consular support and will meet with the group when they return to Port Moresby," the DFAT spokesman said.
"We recommend that trekkers avoid the Black Cat Track until local police have investigated this incident."