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Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 17:47:55 +0000
From: "East Timor International Support Center" <> Organization: East Timor International Support Center

"Nindja" groups mobilised in East Timor

The Darwin-based East Timor International Support Center (ETISC) received information, late this evening, that "nindja" groups have been mobilised by the Indonesian military (Abri) to terrorise East Timorese supporting a referendum for the troubled territory. The order given by the top Abri command [Maj Gen Prabowo Subianto it seems is still behind the scenes!] is for the creation of a complete breakdown in law and order in East Timor to justify a strong military presence there, and hence prevent a referendum from being held.

The following nindja groups are in operation:

  • 1. Gadapaksi in Dili;
  • 2. Alpha in Lospalos;
  • 3. Halilintar in Bobonaro;
  • 4. Leakikit in Viqueque;
  • 5. Saka in Baucau .

These groups were mobilised on June 27, 1998 -- the day the European Ambassadors from Jakarta arrived in East Timor's capital Dili on a fact-finding mission.

In Dili Barat, the nindja groups start operating around 8:00 pm and residents at that time are afraid to leave their houses and most roads are deserted. In Dili Timor around Lahane, the groups are out in the streets terrorising residents from 7:00 pm onwards. Besides being armed with M-16 rifles, the nindja groups also have deadly knives.

On June 24, 1998 the nindja groups held a secret meeting to plot the assassination of Manuel Carrascalao, the brother of former governor Mario Carrrascalao. On June 27, while Manuel was waiting in his four-wheel drive for the EU ambassadors at the VIP exit in Comoro airport, he was attacked by youths on seven motorcycles. His bodyguard, Pedro, and Comoro district head, Vitorino dos Santos, shielded him from a knife attack.

On June 28, the nindja groups held a secret meeting in Bali to plot the killings of leaders in the Dewan Untim -- a loose coalition of students and youths supporting independence for East Timor. Manual Carrascalao's assassination was also discussed.

Recommended ACTION

Please pass this information on. Manuel Carrascalao and student leaders, who have led anti-Indonesia protests when the European Union Ambassadors were in Dili, are definitely in danger.

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