SYDNEY (AP) — Machete-wielding men attacked a group of Australian and New Zealand tourists hiking a popular trail in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, killing two porters and injuring several of the hikers, officials said Wednesday.
The six attackers, armed with machetes, spears and guns, descended on the group Tuesday afternoon at a camping area along the mountainous Black Cat Track in Morobe province on Papua New Guinea's northeast coast, Papua New Guinea national police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.
Eight Australians and one New Zealander were injured, though none of the wounds were life-threatening, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement.
Two local porters were killed and nine others were hurt, six seriously, Kakas said. The tourists received bruises and lacerations, and one was speared through his leg. No gunshots were reported to have been fired during the attack, Kakas said.
The victims were transported to the Morobe capital of Lae for medical treatment.
Violence is rife throughout Papua New Guinea, an impoverished tribal nation of 7 million north of Australia. A recent escalation in cases of extreme brutality, including beheadings, burnings and gang rapes, prompted the government to expand the list of crimes punishable by death earlier this year.
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