Subject: East Timorese policeman wounded in clash with infiltrators

November 28, 2005

East Timorese policeman wounded in clash with infiltrators

DILI (AP): East Timorese police exchanged gunfire Monday with infiltrators who appeared to be pro-Indonesia militiamen, leaving one policeman wounded, an officer said.

Three of the armed militiamen, who numbered about 17, were captured during the pre-dawn clash near the village of Atabae in Maliana district, said Col. Paulo de Fatima Martins, commander of the East Timor police.

Martins said the militiamen had crossed the border and were found about 20 kilometers inside East Timor, a former Portuguese colony. He identified the wounded policeman as Sgt. Berlai de Jesus.

East Timor, tiny half-island nation, was under Indonesia's rule from 1976 until 1999 when it voted for independence in a U.N.-sponsored referendum.

The western part of the Timor Island is the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara.

The border region between Indonesia and East Timor -- a rugged and lawless area dotted with tiny farming villages -- suffered some of the worst violence in 1999 and remains among the most vulnerable.

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