Subject: ABC: 20 killed as militia roam Maliana
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 01:29:48 +1000
From: bfmedia@pop.peg.apc.org (BUSHFIRE MEDIA)

ABC NEWS: 20 killed as militia roam Maliana

At least 20 people have been killed and the western East Timorese town of Maliana set ablaze and all but destroyed.

An Australian observer who left the town early this afternoon in an armed convoy of Indonesian police said over 200 houses were burning in the town and over 100 people had taken refuge in the Indonesian police compound.

The observer said, "the only people in the streets when we left were the militia and the military and the destruction of the town was continuing."

[Image] The United Nations abandoned the town earlier today amid fears that if they did not leave Maliana now, they may not have left at all.

Victims of the bloodshed include [Image] two local UN staff. UN staff It is understood all of inspect the Indonesia's 200 special mobile destruction police based in Maliana have at Gleno retreated with the UN. after abandoning Maliana to Count the militias. The United Nations Mission in [Image] East Timor has nearly finished [Image] East Timor the vote count from this week's referendum. [Image] [Image] UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst RELATED said the 430,000 ballot papers ABC SITES [Blackhawk] were mixed together to prevent [Image] A Blackhawk identification of which areas helicopter favour independence and which is readied [Image] for the want to remain with Indonesia. [Image] Four Corners possible Mr Wimhurst said the count, [Image] evacuation which began this morning, is now [Image] 7.30 Report of in its final stages. Australians [Image] in East [Image] Foreign Timor while The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, will announce the results [Image]Correspondent John Howard of the referendum this weekend discusses [Image] the [Image] Landline situation The head of Indonesia's armed forces, General Wiranto, says [Image] with the outcome of East Timor's [Image] Australian President referendum could be announced as Habibie. Story early as tomorrow. [Image] Real 28.8k+ [Image] AM Real 80.0k+ UN officials had previously stated the declaration of the [Image] Requires poll would take up to a week [Image] The World RealPlayer after votes were cast. Today [Image] [Image] PM Security [Image] The UN says the security situation in the [Image] territory is deteriorating rapidly. Correspondents' [Image] Report It is understood militia have also taken over and Indonesian television tower preventing UN [Image] TV broadcasts to some areas of East Timor. [Image] NewsRadio [Image] And in the other western town of Liquisa, 20 to 30 houses have been burnt to the ground and ABC ONLINE militia have been active in the west and east [Image] of Dili. [Image] Home While in Gleno, also west of Dili, civil order [Image] had completely broken down according to a UN Other Areas of official, with militia on every street corner Interest: and houses were being destroyed.

[Image] Indonesian police are still present but are confined to their compound, protecting INTERACTIVE themselves from the militia. [Image] [Image] Contact Us South of Dili, it is

[Image] reported at least 15 are [Image] News Mail dead in the town of Holo Ruo and 25 houses burnt [Image] down after militia attacked overnight. HELP [Image] While the situation in [Image] Hearing Dili remains extremely [Image]Audio [Image] tense with a massive fire [Image] engulfing the central [Image] Viewing municipal market as the sun went down. Video [Image] Pro-independence East Timorese students were reportedly also under attack from militia in the area of the Santa Cruz cemetery.

And a group of some 75 journalists left the territory today as a media group issued an alert for those left behind.

Their flight left as the Safety Office for Media in East Timor (SOMET) issued a "high alert" for journalists still working in the violence-torn territory, cautioning them to cancel all unnecesary travel.

Troops

Three Hercules military transport planes landed in the East Timorese capital of Dili today, carrying hundreds of soldiers as security continued to worsen in the territory.

Their exact number or unit was unknown as journalists were not allowed to approach the tarmac, but they filled 14 waiting trucks, an AFP photographer said.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas yesterday said that troops had been ordered to assist the Indonesian police ensure security in East Timor, amid international outrage over unchecked violence by pro-Jakarta militias.

While the Australian Government says Australia could deploy peacekeepers to East Timor very quickly if the need arises.

Indonesia is still opposed to a peacekeeping force.

The Defence Minister, John Moore, has announced an extra 24 troops will fly to East Timor as part of the United Nations increased presence there announced after Monday's referendum.

But the Government maintains there can be no peacekeeping force unless Indonesia agrees to one.

Concerns

The Prime Minister has telephoned Indonesian President BJ Habibie to reinforce Australia's concerns about the violence in East Timor.

Mr Howard rang the President late this afternoon.

The Prime Minister's office says Mr Howard expressed his concerns about the latest violence and killings in East Timor and their implications for the safety of Australians in the province.

He stressed the need for Indonesia to maintain law and order.

It is understood President Habibie told Mr Howard Indonesia would fulfil its responsibilities on law enforcement.

But it is not certain whether Mr Howard called for Indonesia to allow a peacekeeping force into the province or whether the President gave any sign he would agree to one.

© 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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