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Prime Minister James Marape confirmed this morning in a press conference that as of last night, an Australian, New Zealander, and few Papua New Guineans were held hostage at Fogomayu, in the middle of Southern Highlands, Hela, Gulf and Western Provinces.

“I want to inform the families of those held hostage that contacts have been made with the people there through secondary sources indicated ransom, we will deal with it very carefully as lives are at risk” PM said.

He said “contacts have been made to the family out there, the hostages are alive, and the community is trying their best to assist.”

Prime Minister said this is a trend of criminal activities and they will not tolerate such behavior in the country as it is a sensitive matter.

“I think this is a very first time a ransom is attached to a hostage situation like this. We are treating it very seriously and we don’t want it to be a precedent for future but we work with the authorities concerned.”

He said, Police and military will assist “I want to inform those involved that there is no place to hide. I called on those responsible to release the hostages”.

PM said they have made contacts with Australia and New Zealand as no lives were lost.

He called on those responsible in staging this hostage to raise their query or concerns through a proper channel for resolution as this is not the right way.

Prime Minister further stated that they will release a statement after putting all information together regarding this matter.

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