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Aussie pilot kidnapped at gunpoint

An Australian pilot has been freed after he was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint in the Papua New Guinea highlands.

PNG Police Commissioner David Manning said the pilot and two local technicians had been in Mt Sisa as part of a scheduled stop when they were taken captive at a remote telecommunications site.

“Following a rapid deployment of security force elements, the Australian pilot of a Hevilift helicopter and two Papua New Guinean subcontractors have been released without harm,” he said in a statement to the ABC.

“The helicopter has since been flown to Hides with the pilot and subcontractors on-board.”

Security forces were deployed to rescue the trio.

It is understood the kidnappers “were acting in connection with a compensation claim” and demands were being made.

“The abductors are being tracked so they can face justice,” he said.

“Our country has had enough of these domestic terrorists, who are undermining the safety and security of our communities, and they have no place walking free.

“These criminals will be caught or they will be killed in the process.”

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson confirmed to NCA NewsWire that the pilot had been freed.

“(We are) pleased that an Australian who had been taken hostage in Papua New Guinea has now been released,” they said in a statement.

“We thank the Papua New Guinea government and Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary for their assistance.

“We will continue to provide consular assistance to the Australian and his family.”

Mt Sisa is in a remote area near the border of Hela and PNG’s Southern Highlands.

Originally published as Aussie pilot freed after being kidnapped at gunpoint in Papua New Guinea

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