Subject: AN: Grenade Thrown into refugee camp fails to explode

ANTARA - THE INDONESIAN NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY

November 12, 2001

GRENADE THROWN INTO E TIMORESE REFUGEE CAMP FAILS TO EXPLODE

Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, Nov 12 (ANTARA) - A man lobbed a Korean-made grenade into the middle of a crowded East Timorese refugee camp in Manumutin village, Atambua, early Sunday but the device failed to explode, a local police spokesman said.

Police had caught the suspected grenade thrower, who was only identified as DSS, a 37-year-old former pro-integration fighter, based on information from some witnesses a few hours after the incident, a Belu police officer said Monday.

"The suspect is now in our custody for questioning and further investigation as to his motives," Adjunct Senior Comissioner Nender Yani said.

DSS threw the bomb into the camp when dozens of refugees were gathering for a communal celebration called "Pesta Kormetan", he said.

The grenade luckily failed to explode. A group of local policemen gently pulled it out of the camp by using rope and detonated it about 50 meters from the camp, Nender said.

The refugees in Manumutin village were part of the more than 250,000 East Timorese who sought refuge in East Nusa Tenggara province (western half of Timor island ) to escape the deadly rampages that broke out in their homeland shortly after a majority of East Timorse voted for independence in a UN-organized people's ballot in August, 1999.

In accordance with the ballot's outcome, the UN is currrently helping to prepare East Timor to become a fully independent and sovereign nation.

The number of East Timorese refugees in East Nusatenggara has meanwhile declined as many of them eventually decided to repatriate with the help of the UN and the Indonesian government.


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