A Queensland professor held hostage by an armed gang in Papua New Guinea and demanding ransom has been released. A week of tense negotiations ended with a covert operation in the country’s remote highlands.
University of Southern Queensland Vice Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie confirmed that Professor Bryce Barker, a New Zealand national, was released in PNG on Sunday.
“We are relieved to confirm that our much-loved colleague from the University of Southern Queensland, Professor Bryce Barker, was released today,” she said.
“Professor Barker and his research team were in Papua New Guinea conducting archaeological research.
“Bryce is a highly respected archaeologist and a valued colleague at the University of Southern Queensland and in the wider archaeological community. He has many years of experience conducting research in Papua New Guinea.”
PNG Prime Minister James Marape said the trio were freed after a covert operation involving his country’s defense and police forces.
A fourth member of the team was released earlier in the week.
“We apologize to the families of those who were held hostage for ransom,” Marape said.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/australian-professor-among-three-hostages-released-in-papua-new-guinea-report-20230226-p5cnq0.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Australian professor among three hostages released in Papua New Guinea