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Indonesian forces kill two, 16 injuried in Dili

Lusa - November 17, 1997

Sydney – At least two East Timorese died and other 16 got injured, three of them seriously, when Indonesian police and troops shoot at students in the University of Dili, a religious source told Lusa on Friday.

According to the source, the clash with the security forces started after the students found three individuals working for the Indonesian intelligence service inside the university.

"They (Indonesian) get one or two agents who tried to cause trouble and right after that they bring the police and soldiers who claimed they can shoot because they are trying to maintain social order", the source said.

The source said also representatives of the International Red Cross and the Roman Catholic Church tried to visit the injured at the hospital but strongly armed soldiers barred their entrance.

A resistance source that confirmed the incident said, however, he could not confirm the death of the two youth.

The East Timorese Bishop D. Ximenes Belo, and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, told Portuguese radio RDP-Antena 1 the Indonesian military had committed "acts of immeasurable brutality" inside the University of Dili.

The Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres expressed his disgust over the behaviour of the Indonesian forces in Dili saying, "it is profoundly deplorable and quite revealing of the nature of the Indonesian dictatorship".

A spokesman for the Indonesian military denied that the two youth had been killed in the confrontation at the University of Dili and affirmed that the forces had only fired warning shoots.

Captain Triyoga Budi told Associated Press "I can say that no one died", adding that four people had been arrested to be questioned.

The incidents came as Portugal's Duke of Braganca, D. Duarte, visits the territory under an invitation by Belo and two days after the sixth anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre when Indonesian troops shoot at demonstrators at this Dili's cemetery.

Jakarta has said that 50 people were killed, but witnesses and human rights organisations put the death toll at 200.

The confrontations at the university came also in the same day as the US Congress voted a bill against the use of US-made weapons in East Timor by Indonesia.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it one year later but the United Nations still regards Portugal as the territory's administering power.