TITLE=TIMOR / SOLDIERS / L-O
INTRO: Two Australian soldiers shot during an
ambush by militia gunmen in East Timor have been
flown back to Australia to recover. Nino
Tesoriero reports, the soldiers escaped death in
the shoot-out with anti-independence fighters who
were armed with military style automatic weapons.
TEXT: Spokesmen for the multinational
peacekeeping force say both men are in
Australia's Prime minister, John Howard says
Wednesday's exchange of fire is a reminder the
peacekeeping mission is a dangerous operation.
Mr. Howard has expressed relief the soldiers from
INTERFET -- the international peacekeeping force
in East Timor, were not severely wounded. Mr.
Howard also says he regrets the deaths of the two
/// ACT HOWARD ///
The loss of life of anybody in this situation is
regrettable and we hope that the militia will
cooperate with the Interfet forces who have a
clear and unambiguous United Nations mandate.
/// END ACT ///
INTERFET says the troops were forced to return
fire Wednesday following an ambush by militiamen
near the border with West Timor.
The two soldiers who were injured in the gun
battle have been flown back to Australia.
Meanwhile, nearly 250 East Timorese refugees have
arrived in Sydney where they will be temporarily
accommodated in army barracks. The group of
mainly women and children were flown in from
Darwin Wednesday night. (signed)
07-Oct-1999 05:42 AM EDT (07-Oct-1999 0942 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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