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By Rose Ellison

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, March 27) – Tourism in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain province has been deal an adverse blow with the news of two tourists being attacked by a knife-wielding youth at the Rabaul market last Thursday.

The Japanese couple, part of 1,000 tourists from a visiting vessel, received knife wounds to their arms.

The president of ENB Chamber of Commerce Bruce Alexander promptly offered PGK500 [US$175] for information leading to the arrest of the assailant but according to Rabaul police, the suspect involved in the incident was taken in by his parents.

"This (attack) is very disappointing because so much hard work has been put into developing the tourism industry in the province," said an openly angry Mr Alexander. "It takes just one person to damage the reputation of the province and the country."

The ENB Tourism Bureau condemned the attack and warned it could deter Japanese tourists from visiting the province.

The bulk of the tourists last Thursday were Japanese, who visit the remnants and sites of the Second World War.

Rabaul police said they were questioning a suspect with the intention of laying charges.

March 28, 2006

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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