Jakarta thanks PNG over hostage rescue

2:48 pm on 21 September 2015

Indonesia has thanked Papua New Guinea's government for its co-operation in securing the release of two Indonesians taken hostage in a remote part of the common border region.

Late last week PNG Defence Force soldiers rescued the pair who had been held captive by what Indonesian police say were suspected members of the OPM Free West Papua Movement, in Skoutio village in West Sepik.

The two Indonesian logging workers were reportedly kidnapped earlier this month by an armed group while cutting wood in Indonesia's Keerom regency, a three-hour walk from Skoutio.

The kidnappers had also shot a person who was later treated at hospital in Jayapura.

The Antara news agency reports Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi saying the pair were released following negotiations backed up by PNG soldiers and handed over to the Indonesian Consulate General in Vanimo.

She says the government was looking to identify the abductors, who remain at large, in the hope that they would soon be caught and prosecuted.

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