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New Zealand pilot held hostage in Indonesia

07:40 PM | 9 Feb, 2023
New Zealand pilot held hostage in Indonesia
Source: Image by Frank Winkler from Pixabay

BALI – A New Zealand pilot has been taken hostage by separatist fighters in Indonesia on Tuesday while efforts are underway to recover him.

The pilot was taken hostage in Papua region and the plane was set on fire during the incident. Reports say the armed men also threatened to kill the pilot when it landed in the mountainous district of Nduga. The pilot was on board the commercial charter flight of Susi Air. 

The plane was carrying five passengers including a young child and they are thought to have been released.

The separatists named West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) want Indonesia to recognise the independence of the province of West Papua.

The pilot has been identified as Philip Merthens and the separatists had been designated as a terrorist group by the country in the past.

The group's spokesperson, Sebby Sambom, warned the pilot will be executed if Indonesia "is obstinate" and fails to negotiate over the independence of West Papua.

The New Zealand government has said that it is aware of the developments and its consulate in Indonesia is providing assistance to the pilot's family.

On the other hand, Susi Air founder Susi Pudjiastuti stated on Twitter that she was praying for the safety of the pilot and the passengers.

The plane was carrying supplies from the mining town of Timika in the neighbouring district and the airport where it landed is a remote are with only access by air.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk


Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 20 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains marginally same against US Dollar and other currencies on April 20, 2024. US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro comes down to 293 for buying and 296 for selling while British Pound stands at 342.25 for buying, and 345.65 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.25 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 293 296
UK Pound Sterling GBP 342.5 346
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.2 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 181 182.8
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.55 748.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 201 203
China Yuan CNY 38.47 38.87
Danish Krone DKK 39.78 40.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.53 35.88
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.11 912.11
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.08 58.68
New Zealand Dollar NZD 164.22 166.22
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.61 25.91
Omani Riyal OMR 723.2 731.2
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.45 77.15
Singapore Dollar SGD 204.5 206.5
Swedish Korona SEK 25.31 25.61
Swiss Franc CHF 305.47 307.97
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71


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