Subject: Six Anti-Independence Militiamen Surrender In E Timor

Associated Press September 11, 2000

Six Anti-Independence Militiamen Surrender In E Timor

DILI, East Timor (AP)--Six anti-independence militiamen armed with automatic weapons have surrendered in East Timor, a U.N. peacekeeping official said Monday.

A pair of militiamen and another gang of four gave themselves up to U.N. troops Sunday in two different villages in central East Timor, peacekeeping spokesman Col. Brynjar Nymo said.

He said none of the militiamen were high-ranking gang members.

It is the first time pro-Indonesian militiamen have turned themselves in after crossing back from West Timor fully armed.

The move bodes well for East Timor's U.N. administrators who have been hoping that about 150 armed militiamen, who have infiltrated East Timor recently, wanted to surrender and resettle peacefully rather than cause trouble.

Militiamen have been spotted in groups of up to 50 throughout the territory. Several have been killed and injured in firefights with peacekeepers. Two U.N. soldiers have also died in recent clashes.

He said other groups of militias were also negotiating with the U.N. about surrendering.

Hundreds of pro-Indonesian militiamen fled East Timor a year ago after international peacekeepers landed in the territory following the outbreak of militia violence that left hundreds of people dead.

Many of the militias have since hid among tens of thousands of East Timorese refugees languishing in squalid camps in Indonesian-controlled West Timor.

Last week, a militia mob attacked a U.N. office in the West Timor border town of Atambua, killing three U.N. foreign aid workers and three Indonesians.

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