Peter O'Neill Condemns Australian Tourist Murder in Mount Hagen

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill says he is angered by the murder of an Australian tourist in Mt Hagen.

Media reports say the Australian, Robert "Bob" Purdy, 62, was shot dead at a friend's home in the early hours of Monday morning after a group of up to 10 men scaled a concrete wall surrounding the property.

A woman who was staying at the house, who is believed to be from the Philippines, was gang raped.

“I condemn the killing of this tourist and the attack on his girlfriend,” O'Neill said in a statement on Tuesday night.

Early news reports said the woman, who is being treated at Mt Hagen hospital, was Purdy's girlfriend.

Police say they don't know if this is the case.

“It is a cowardly act of animals,” O'Neill said.

“This kind of behaviour totally undermines our efforts to make our country a safe destination for investment and tourists."

He demanded Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga bring those responsible to justice.

“Our community cannot be safe until we bring perpetrators of such heinous crimes to face the full force of the law.

“We cannot allow the entire nation to suffer because of the behaviour of one or two sick people,” O'Neill said.

Police say they have no suspects but are following up leads.

One police spokesman said the property had been recently targeted for robbery, but no items of value were stolen.

Purdy's murder is one of an unrelated series of recent gruesome murders in the resource rich, infrastructure poor nation.

In early February, a 20-year-old mother of one, Kepari Leniata, was stripped and burned alive in front of a crowd at a market on the outskirts of Mt Hagen.

She had been accused of witchcraft by her killers.

In Southern Bougainville last week, one woman was beheaded and another grievously injured when a mob accused the pair of practising sorcery.

Police have been so far unable to rescue the critically injured woman. [IslandsBusiness| ]
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