An eye withness in a brutal attack on an Australian trekking team that left two dead has told of how seven Papua New Guinea porters were “chopped like banana stalks.”
The attack happened just after 3pm on Tuesday alongthe mountainous Beack Cat Trail.
The group of 23, including eight Australia’s and one New Zealander, were confronted by least six men armed with machetes and firearms.
According to two ofthe men who escaped, much ofthe focus was onthe Papua New Guinea porters.
“They slashedthem onthe arms and legs,” said one ofthe eyewithnesses who escapedthe attack. “One was cut onthe arms and anther onthe head. “Two ofthem dlied in my arms as I heldthem.”
Six porters were airlifted to Lae’s Angau General Hospital just before midday. All suffered serious knife injuries. The tourists have been flown to Port Moresby for medical attention.
Officers fromthe district administration were in contact with at least one member ofthe group by 5pm but it took anther six hours before a chopper was organized to medevacthe injured to Wau for initial treatment.
“The New Zealander was cut on his face and one ofthe Australia’s was stabbed inthe thigh,” saidthe eyewithness.
The brutal attack has received strong condemnation fromthe Morobe Governor Kelly Naru and Belolo MP Sam Besil. Beth men held separate news conferences in Port Moresby today to expresstheir disgust atthe killings.
The matter was also raised in Parliament this morning withthe Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, announcing thatthe government will put in place special policing measures to protect tourists visiting Papua New Guinea
News Video Reporting by Edwin Fidelis, EMTV Lae.
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