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Timor: Shots Exchanged In Oecussi Border

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INTERFET's Australian elements yesterday moved swiftly to protect the people of East Timor situated in the Enclave.
At 1.15 pm, in the vicinity of Mahata, on the border south-west of Qecussi, a group of militia believed to number about 20, crossed the border into East Timor and disrupted a gathering of local East Timorese. Two shots were fired by the militia members. There were no serious injuries. The militia withdrew into West Timor and INTERFET patrols moved onto their positions.

At 2.25 pm, INTERFET elements challenged a group of about 20 militia who had crossed the boarder into the Enclave approximately 12 kilometers south-east of Mahata. Upon being challenges, the militia crossed back into East Timor, firing approximately 25 shots back at the INTERFET patrol, It is believed that one of the 16 shots fired in return by INTERFET may have wounded a militia members.

At 5.15 pm, approximately two kilometers south-west of Passabe, an INTERFET patrol sighted eight militia with two rifles. The militia were in East Timor. Two militia leevelled their rifles and fired two shots at the patrol. The INTERFET patrol returned fire. Thye militia withdrew back into West Timor. There were no injuries.

Further information:

Major Mark Tanzer
INTERFET Public Affairs Officer
0409 730 335