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Armed Men Attack Papua New Guinea Airport

A group of 30 armed men has ransacked the second largest airport in Papua New Guinea.

Australian officials say the men armed with pistols, rifles, homemade guns and machetes descended on Nadzab airport, about 40 kilometers from the port town of Lae.

Australia's Foreign Ministry said about 30 people who were at the airport for an early morning flight and nine airport security guards were held hostage Monday while the attackers looted food and office equipment.

A police spokesman said the security guards were "out-numbered" and were "ordered at gunpoint to huddle with the passengers" in the terminal.

Officials say one passenger was beaten with a rifle butt.

Police say the attackers tried but failed to break into the safe of national carrier Air Niugini.

Officials say the siege lasted two hours before the men escaped by running across the runway.