In Papua New Guinea, a New Zealand archaeologist and two other people have been freed after being held hostage for a week. Prime Minister James Marapp announced today that the three abductees had been “successfully returned”. A week ago, an armed group kidnapped them in an impassable mountainous area.
Police said they had previously negotiated with the kidnappers, who initially demanded a $1 million ransom within 24 hours but later relaxed their demands. According to Marabe, the original ransom demand was not met. He added that the hostages were released after “secret operations”, without elaborating.
The released New Zealand national working as a professor at an Australian university and his two local companions are from Papua New Guinea.
According to Prime Minister Marab, this was the first time in his country that such a ransom had been extorted. Marab had said earlier that his government was taking the issue “very seriously”.
In Papua New Guinea, many mountainous regions encircle vast areas of jungle that the central government and military have no control over. In recent years, tribal conflicts and arms trade have increased in the country.
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