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Sixth suspect arrested over deadly PNG trek attack

Trek camp after attack. Photo Credit. ABC
Papua New Guinea police have arrested a sixth suspect over the attack on Australian and New Zealand trekkers and their porters along the Black Cat Track in the Morobe Province.

Provincial Police Commander Superintendent Leo Lamei says two suspects have surrounded to village leaders at Mubo and Salamaua respectively and have been air-lifted to Lae and are being interrogated.

Police detectives are interrogating the six suspects now in police custody.

Local police say at least nine people or more were involved in the attack on September 10 which left three local porters dead and a number of them, including nine foreign trekkers, sustaining serious injuries.

Mr Lamei says another three, including two brothers, are still hiding in between the Salamaua coastlines and the Wau jungles.

"We are tracking the three remaining suspects through the villages in and around Wau such as Bito, Skin Diwai, Biawen and Banis Donkey," Mr Lamei said.

He says local villagers in Morobe provided vital information to police which resulted in the capture of the additional two suspects.

"I appeal to them to continue assisting police capture the other remaining suspects," Mr Lamei said.

Mr Lamei says as soon as all the suspects are rounded up and interrogated, the exact number of people involved in the attack will be known.

The police helicopter the "Eye in the Sky" has been helping Mr Lamei and his officers since day one in tracking the suspects as well as airlifting the suspects from their villages to the police cells.

The helicopter will continue to provide logistical support to police for the duration of the investigation.

Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes has commended Mr Lamei and his officers for quick action in facilitating the safe return of the Australian trekkers back to their country.

"The RPNGC's swift response played a crucial role in facilitating the trekkers' safe return to Port Moresby and subsequently Australia," Ms Stokes said.

"We also recognise the excellent support the RPNGC provided to the porters, ensuring they were able to receive prompt medical attention."

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