Subject: AFP: Hundreds of pro-Indon militia launch attack in E Timor
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 09:33:22 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo:

:Hundreds of armed pro-Indonesia militia launch attack in E Timor

DILI, East Timor (AFP) - Hundreds of armed members of the pro-Indonesia militia launched an attack on pro-independence activists in the troubled territory of East Timor Monday, leaving at least three injured, residents said.

"Three wounded men just arrived here from the Maubara area," said a man who identified himself as Atinho at the Motael Catholic church here.

Atinho said the three had gunshot wounds but declined to say what the church officials planned to do with them.

Another resident active in a local human rights organisation said the attack began early on Monday and that hundreds of members of the pro-Indonesia "Merah Putih" force were approaching Liquisa, a town some 33 kilometres (20 miles) west of here.

The source said at least seven people were wounded by gunshots and that scores of others injured by other more traditional weapons, including arrows and machetes.

The Maubara area is the stronghold of the Merah-Putih force, a civilian militia group which has pledged to fight for the former Portuguese territory to stay part of Indonesia which annexed it in 1976.

Clashes between pro-independence and pro-Indonesian groups have been rife amid tensions following Jakarta's surprise announcement in January that it may let go of East Timor should the population there reject a UN-sponsored broad autonomy under Indonesia.

The military and police stations in Maubara and Liquisa could not be immediately reached for confirmation.

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