Subject: LUSA: Monday road ambush near Dili claims second victim

25-02-2003 20:22:00. Notícia nº SIR-4715524

East Timor: Monday road ambush near Dili claims second victim

Dili, Feb. 24 (Lusa) - A second person has died as a result of Monday's road ambush by unidentified gunmen southwest of Dili, a United Nations source said Tuesday.

The 65-year-old man, who received gunshot wounds in the attack, had been traveling in a vehicle on the road between Dili and Maliana. He died in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the UN source said.

Security forces have still not tracked down those responsible for the deadly ambush, which took place between the villages of Aidabaleten and Elkina in the Bobonaro district.

One person remains in a critical condition after the incident, in which gunmen opened fire on a mini-van carrying passengers and killed a 20-year-old youth. Another two passengers received less serious injuries.

The same attackers are believed to have ambushed a truck on the same stretch of road earlier Monday, but without inflicting casualties.

Although the Dili authorities have released no hard evidence on the identity of the attackers, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told Lusa Monday that the ambush was "a deliberate action by (anti- independence) militias" to create instability.

Alkatiri stressed "the hit-and-run" nature of the attacks by an estimated three to 10 gunmen, adding "the militiamen have found internal allies, namely elements of Colimau 2000", a reference to a local radical group blamed for recent attacks southwest of Dili.

ASP/CJB Lusa

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