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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 17) – Two people were taken by crocodiles in the Gulf Province last week and their bodies are still missing.

Kapiri Paul, 13, a girl from Eia bush camp, Karurua village, and Apoa Sone 24, male, from Varia village — both from Baimuru, are still missing after killer crocodiles attacked and dragged them underwater in separate incidents.

Provincial police commander Inspector Heni Vagi said the girl was washing in the river after returning from the garden with her mother when a huge crocodile attacked and dragged her underwater.

"The mother struggled to rescue her daughter from the mouth of the crocodile but was unsuccessful," Insp Vagi said.

Insp Vagi said the mother then reported the attack to the villagers who mobilised a search party and conducted an intensive search along the riverbanks but to no avail.

He, however, said only the skirt of the girl, torn and blood-stained, was discovered by the search team floating on the river.

In the other case, Mr Sone was swimming in the Baroi River with two friends when a large crocodile attacked and dragged him under.

Insp Vagi said villagers were unable to kill the crocodile after it surfaced with the body of the man a couple of times.

"We received reports that the deceased was warned by his two friends of the crocodile but was too late to swim out of the water," Insp Vagi said. Search teams were in the river to look for the young man but were unsuccessful.

The village people have called on Baimuru police to assist in the search for the two bodies and to help kill the crocodiles in the river.

Insp Vagi said the search for the bodies was still continuing while the matters have been reported to the Provincial Disaster and Emergency office.

January 17, 2006

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