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Subject: AFP: E.Timor group accuses Indonesian military of atrocities
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 10:10:11 GMT
From: hops <>

Received from Joyo

East Timor group accuses Indonesian military of atrocities

JAKARTA, Nov 18 (AFP) - The East Timor National Resistance CouncilWednesday accused the Indonesian military of murder, torture and abduction during anti- rebel operations in the troubled territory of East Timor.

The head of general staff affairs of the East Timor military command, Lieutenant Colonel Supadi, denied the charges.

The CNRT said in a document obtained by AFP that soldiers had arrested and killed a tribal chief in Taidudak, in the East Timorese district of Manufahi on Saturday.

It also said members from three battalions assisted by members of paramilitary groups and a police mobile brigade had terrorized the local population in two villages in the Alas subdistrict.

The document accused soliders of torturing four youths and added that five others had since gone missing.

Alas was the scene last week of an attack by some 50 rebels against a military post there. Three soldiers were killed in the attack, 13 more were kidnapped and firearms and ammunition were stolen.

Eleven of the kidnapped troops were either freed or escaped their captors the day after they were abducted by alleged rebels. Two soldiers, both East Timorese, remained held by their captors, one of whom died in the attack.

Indonesian military authorities in East Timor have since pledged to free the captured soldiers and hunt down their captors.

"All we know is that some rebels there were arrested. There were six people (arrested), but two of them died and all of them have confessed to have had taken part in the attack in Alas," Supadi told AFP.

He said troops arrested four rebels on Monday but one of them died trying to escape arrest. On Tuesday two others were caught and one died.

Commenting on the military operations in the Alas villages, Supardi said they were held to hunt down rebels who had attacked the military post.

Supadi denied troops had burned down villagers' houses, saying they had no reason to do so. "Our search is of a persuasive nature," he said.

"The situation (in Alas) has returned to normal, even though there are people who sought refuge in churches out of fear," Supadi said.

East Timor was annexed by Indonesia in 1976 but an armed pro-independence movement has opposed the Indonesian presence there ever since.

The United Nations and most states continue to see Lisbon as the official adminstrator of the territory.

TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, 8 Hop Gardens London WC2N 4EH Tel: 171 497 5355 Fax: 171 4975313 Email: Defending the rights of the victims of oppression in Indonesia, East Timor, West Papua and Aceh, 1973-1998

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