Steven Tari, a convicted rapist, had been on the run since escaping from a prison in Madang in the Pacific nation's east during a mass break-out with 48 others in March this year.

Sylvester Kalaut, the Madang police chief, said on Friday that Tari and one of his followers were killed at a village about 20km outside Madang on Thursday as they were attacking a young woman.

"He is now dead and this could be the fate of the others who are also on the run from authorities and I am warning and strongly urging those escapees to surrender themselves to authorities," Kalaut told the PNG Post-Courier.

Tari, a failed Lutheran pastor who was widely known as Black Jesus, was found guilty in 2010 of raping girls who belonged to his Christian-based sect and sentenced to up to 10 years.