Military



DATE=8/2/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=TIMOR / U-N (L-O) NUMBER=2-265071 BYLINE=LARRY FREUND DATELINE=NEW YORK CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nations says Australian troops in East Timor - part of the U-N peacekeeping force there - have shot and killed two armed members of the East Timorese militia. Correspondent Larry Freund reports from New York the incident occurred near the border with West Timor. TEXT: A gun battle between an Australian patrol and the East Timorese militia took place, according to the United Nations, about 10-kilometers from East Timor's border with West Timor, which is part of Indonesia. A U-N spokesman says the troops had been tracking militia near the town of Maliana and encountered a group of four to five militiamen armed with rifles and grenades. Two of the men were shot and killed. No U- N peacekeepers were injured. Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U-N official in East Timor, says the incident is important because it indicates the militia remain active. He says it is the first time the U-N peacekeeping force in East Timor successfully engaged a militia group at a short distance, and the first time it had killed a militiaman. He said the peacekeepers' rules of engagement are being applied in the border area without the slightest hesitation. U-N spokesman Manoel de Alemeida e Silva: /// ALEMEIDA E SILVA ACT /// The force commander, Lieutenant General Boonsrang Niumpradit, said that the actions by United Nations troops today should send a signal across the border to make militia members think twice before placing human lives in jeopardy. /// END ACT /// Last week, members of the pro-Jakarta militia shot and killed a U-N peacekeeper from New Zealand in the border area. He was the first casualty in the international peacekeeping mission. The more than - thousand U-N troops and civilian police began operations in East Timor last September, following a backlash from the militia when the territory voted for independence from Indonesia. U-N officials say the militia groups also are operating around refugee camps in West Timor, engaging in intimidation of the refugees from East Timor. The United Nations has asked Indonesia to go beyond the measures it has taken and disarm the militia completely and remove them from the refugee camps. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/LSF/RAE 1 1 02-Aug-2000 14:37 PM EDT (02-Aug-2000 1837 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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