An Australian trekker has uncovered the site of a World War II battle in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, with the bodies of at least three Japanese soldiers still lying where they fell in 1942.
Former army captain Brian Freeman, an expert on the arduous Kokoda Trail, said on Monday that local villagers led him to the Eora Creek site where he found the remains of the soldiers, along with their weapons and equipment.
"I never anticipated that we would find war dead," Freeman said.
"As soon as we realised that Japanese and, potentially, Australian soldiers were buried at the site, we discussed with the villagers the need for those men to be identified and returned home," he said in a statement.
Freeman said the battleground was known to nearby villagers but they had avoided the site, believing that it was haunted by the spirits of the dead.