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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 8, 2001 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Four Air Niugini women workers were raped yesterday morning after their pickup bus was held up and taken over by an armed gang in Port Moresby.

Three flights were cancelled and others delayed as employees marched on the administration of Air Niugini to seek assurances for their safety.

The management met with them and undertook to help the victims, resulting in a proposed work stoppage being called off.

An Air Niugini employee said the women staff members, part of the early morning shift, had been picked up by a 25-seater bus between 3:30 and 4:00 a.m. at Waigani, immediately after which the criminals struck.

He said male colleagues tried to put up a fight but were violently subdued by the armed gang members, who pulled the women out of the bus, dragged them to the side of a swamp and raped them.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 



PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 9, 2001 – Radio Australia)---Staff members at Papua New Guinea's national airline, Air Niugini, have agreed to return to work after receiving assurances from management that it will act on resolving security concerns after the pack rape of four female employees yesterday.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports that most Port Moresby based members of PNG's National Airline Employees Association stopped work yesterday but voted to end their protest at a lunchtime meeting today.

"The four female ground staff workers, on their way to start the early morning shift were in an Air Niugini bus hijacked by a gang of eight armed men.

"The four, one of whom is pregnant, were later pack raped.

"The General Secretary of the National Airline Employees Association says the union had asked Air Niugini to employ armed guards to escort staff to work. But they accepted Air Niugini's explanation that this posed legal problems.

"He said, ‘For the time being we have agreed with what the management is doing temporarily in terms of providing security. We had suggested that flights be rescheduled but commercially this will not be viable for Air Niugini. So, for the time being, we will work within our means as to what we can all provide for each other.’

"Police are trying to track down the gang rapists.

"Sean Dorney, Radio Australia News, Port Moresby."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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