10 Oct 2003

Australian journalists forced out of PNG province

4:47 pm on 10 October 2003

Two Australian journalists have been ejected from an area in Papua New Guinea, where it is alleged a huge cache of gold has been found.

The national government has denied the reports and says the military activity in the area is maneuvers in preparation for deployment to Solomon Islands.

The journalists attempted to get into the Kalili and Messi areas, in the west coast of central New Ireland, when police officers and soldiers carrying M16 rifles turned them back.

The journalists were escorted back to Namatanai police station where they were forced to hand over their film and told to leave the province within 24 hours.

The gold is alleged to have been left behind by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.