2 Dec 2014

PNG airport struck by armed bandits

9:18 am on 2 December 2014

Heavily armed bandits have robbed passengers and smashed up an airport in Papua New Guinea.

A group of 30 men stormed Nadzab airport early on Monday, reportedly keeping passengers captive for about two hours while they ransacked offices before fleeing.

The attack on the airport, 40 kilometres outside Lae, PNG's second biggest city, has prompted an updated warning about PNG crime on Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

A police spokesman has told the ABC the nine security guards manning the airport said they were out-numbered and ordered at gunpoint to huddle up with the passengers in front of he terminal.

The men were armed with pistols, rifles, homemade guns and machetes.

He said there were about 30 passengers, and one was beaten with the butt of a gun, as the men looted food and office equipment, smashing windows and doors.

DFAT also says it continues to advise Australians to reconsider the need to travel to Porgera township in Enga Province in the northern highlands of PNG.