Guards reported that at around 4am, three buses dropped off students from the University of Natural Resources and Environment for their flights out of East New Britain Province.
Whilst waiting for the terminal to open, Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Joseph Tabali, said a group of men numbering around 15 discharged a shot from a homemade gun and attempted to rob the students.
The students retaliated and during the scuffle, one of the suspects, a 17-year-old male from Buka and Duke of York Island, was killed.
PPC Tabali said the deceased was previously charged with robbery and was released by the court last week.
“Another 40-year-old suspect from Bitapaka, Paui village, died at the St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital,” stated PPC Tabali.
Of the students, a female suffered a knife wound on her head and was discharged yesterday while a male student, who was reportedly slashed in the back, was transferred from Vunapope to Nonga and is still there.
While flights were cancelled for the day, PPC Tabali and East New Britain leaders addressed the nearby settlements.
There is police presence on ground, with the PPC giving the assurance that they will be there until next year to ensure the safety of airport staff and passengers.
Meantime, the Criminal Investigation Division will be visiting the students on campus today.