APSN Banner

Six killed by resistance in Vikeke

Various - April 10, 1997

According to reports today from AFP (in Jakarta) and Reuter (in Dili), the resistance has killed six and wounded five others in two ambushes in East Timor. The exiled CNRM confirmed the attacks and said the death toll was probably higher, but sources in the Indonesian-occupied territory doubted whether the resistance was involved.

East Timor deputy military chief Col Sukoco said the dead included two regional officials, one the head of Viqueque's district administrative affairs department, Eugenio da Costa, according to the Jakarta Post.

Local sources said da Costa was also local head of Garda Paksi, a military recruited pro-Indonesian youth group that has been involved in many clashes East Timor groups.

Armed attackers shot at a car carrying officials in Viqueque. 'All but one of the six was found dead with bullet wounds,' Sukoco was quoted as saying, adding that the other casualty died from stab wounds on the way to hospital. The other four dead were security guards. Two others in the car were wounded.

A second attack was on a construction firm's lorry later on Monday in the same area. Three people were injured.

A CNRM spokeswoman in Darwin confirmed that two ambushes were carried out Maria Suarez said: 'We are waiting for exact details but when the Indonesian military says that people have died, the numbers are always considerably more than they admit.'

Roving squads of masked men in black have in the past terrorise several towns, targetting pro-independence sympathisers and their families. The source said many people have had to flee towns in the Viqueque district due to terror from the Garda Paksi in the past two months.

In February brawls erupted between Garda Paksi and local youths in Viqueque.

Da Costa had in the past already been the target of several attacks, the Kompas daily quoted the district chief as saying.

According to Reuters, Indonesian soliders are searching for the guerrillas who killed a senior official, an aide and four security guards.

At least another five were injured in the attack and in another ambush near Viqueque on Monday.

'We have launched a search to capture them. Four platoons of troops have been deployed in Viqueque to find the rebels,' one official told Reuters. 'We believe there are fiften of them who conducted the attack and their rifles included M-16s which they stole from military posts.'

Residents said the dead were buried Tuesday.

Antara news agency quoted the survivors as saying they could not recognise the attackers who wore masks.