AUSTRALIAN TOURIST RAPED IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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Three others carjacked, robbed, and tree-bound

By Jayne Safihao PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 17, 2010) – An Australian youth ambassador on a surfing break in Madang was raped at the weekend.

[PIR editor’s note: Madang is the capital of Madang Province, a town situated on the north coast of Papua New Guinea.]

The victim was with three other Australians who had travelled to Madang’s North Coast Road looking for surfing spots last Saturday.

Police said the four were carjacked, robbed and then taken to a secluded spot where they were bound to trees and the female raped.

The criminals then used the victims’ car and stole two other cars.

Police said the incident took place near the Bunabun Health Centre at Ivoro village.

According to reports, the four Australians had stopped at Bunabun to drop off their surf boards when they were set upon by four men armed with two guns, a pistol and a dagger.

The four were forced into their vehicle and stripped of all valuables including mobile phones and driven to a secluded area where they tied the other three and took off with the female hostage.

The three, who were tied up, freed themselves and proceeded on foot to Midibar where they used a phone to alert police.

Condemning the attack, Australian High Commission official John Poultar said the youths were in the country under the youth ambassador program and it was a sad experience when they were out to enjoy a weekend.

"It is about developing a relationship as volunteers in their host country under this AusAID program," he said.

In-country program manageress Julie Bengi had voiced her concern, saying that the project was supporting organizations in a significant way and this incident had created a negative impact.

According to police, three suspects had been apprehended and were in police custody.

Police are looking for another suspect.

Provincial police commander Anthony Wagambie Jnr could not be reached for comments.

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