APSN Banner

Clash leaves one man dead, two wounded

Dow Jones Newswires - June 27, 1998 (abridged)

Dili – Indonesian troops shot dead one man and seriously wounded two others when rival groups of protesters clashed in a town in East Timor Saturday, witnesses said.

An Indonesian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident happened in front of a Catholic church in Manatutu, about 60 kilometers east of the territory's capital, Dili. He said troops opened fire when opposing groups of pro and anti-Indonesian demonstrators began fighting. Hundreds of people took part in the melee, which was also marred by rock throwing.

Later anti-Indonesian activists brought the body of the dead man, identified as Manuel Marquez Soares, 21, to Dili and carried it through its streets in protest. They took it to the University of East Timor, a center of separatists protest, where more than 800 gathered to mourn the dead victim and to demand that the Indonesian government hold a referendum on the future of the former Portuguese colony.

[A June 23 report by Lusa said that the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) has accused Indonesian troops of fomenting trouble. CNRT's office in Portugal said in a statement that "trustworthy sources" had confirmed that 600 people had been armed and organised under the leadership of Edmundo, a local Timorese leader. "They are waiting to go to Dili tomorrow (Tuesday) and raise trouble during the demonstrations being held in the Dili", the statement said - James Balowski.]