Airport In PNG’s Second City Attacked By Heavily Armed Criminals

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Airport In PNG’s Second City Attacked By Heavily Armed Criminals Nadzab airport near Lae shut down for several hours during raid

By Franco Nebas

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 2, 2014) – All Air Niugini flights out from Nadzab airport Lae, Morobe Province, were disrupted yesterday following a raid by heavily armed criminals at the terminal.

About 20 men, armed with high-powered guns, tied up security guards and forced their way into the terminal ransacking offices and shops as well as destroying electronic equipment.

The raid came after the successful staging of the sixth BSP PNG Games with a colourful closing ceremony on Sunday to farewell athletes and officials to their respective home provinces.

However, for some, it was a total nightmare arriving at the airport only to find being stranded for several more hours after criminal elements destroyed ticketing equipment. Several passengers were also attacked and admitted to Angau Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The passengers attacked where those spending the night at the terminal to avoid missing the flights, especially the early morning flights.

According to witnesses, the passengers were beaten up when the criminals tried making their way into the terminal building.

The raid occurred in the early hours of Monday morning between 4 and 5 o’clock as the criminals cross over the tarmac to the terminal, tied up security guards with wires and gained entry.

Police sources said there was another attack earlier at 41 Mile, where criminals held up security guards, broke into the service station and stole the weekend‘s taking.

It is believed the same group then went to Nadzab Airport by crossing the runway and tarmac and gained entry to the terminal.

The two offices targeted were Air Niugini and Travel Air where most of their equipments use for ticketing were damaged, forcing the staff to do manual ticketing and forcing the inconveniences on passengers booked for the early flights.

The Travel Air Service office lost four lap tops, so as the Air Niugini office where most of the computers use for ticketing and issuing of boarding passes were destroyed.

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