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By Peter Miva

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 4) – Two women were raped by 15 men at Boram Oval in Wewak, East Sepik after a night out dancing last Friday.

[PIR editor’s note: East Sepik province comprises areas in the northwest region of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula. Wewak is on province’s north coast.]

Minutes after leaving the Windjammer Hotel at about 4 a.m., they were confronted by the men.

Provincial police commander Leo Kabilo said one of the men slashed the husband of one of the women with a bushknife.

As he lay on the ground, seriously wounded, the men dragged the women into the bushes and raped them.

Residents found the victims a few hours later and sent them to the Boram hospital.

Mr. Kabilo said police knew the identity of three of the rapists and hoped to arrest them soon.

He said there had been several incidents since the hotel started catering for dances last year.

"There have been assaults, rapes, attempted rapes and drunken brawls. Some motorists also had objects thrown at them," he told The National.

He believed some rape victims might not have reported to the police out of shame.

He urged provincial administrator John Alman to look into the terms and conditions of the hotel’s operations.

"The fundraising dances sometimes go right up to 5 a.m.," he said.

Mr. Kabilo regretted that people could no longer walk freely in Wewak in view of the rise in rape cases.

April 5, 2006

The National:

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