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Subject: Timor resistance threatens to execute hostages
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 22:29:18 +1100
From: Geoffrey Heard <gheard@surf.net.au>

União Democrática Timorense TIMORESE DEMOCRATIC UNION MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release: 10 pm AESummerT, Monday 16/11/98

East Timor resistance threatens to execute hostages unless Indonesian army backs off

SYDNEY: The East Timorese resistance, Falintil, is threatening to execute the Indonesian army's regional commandant and another officer it is holding prisoner unless ABRI stops killing innocent East Timorese civilians and pulls out of the Alas area on the central south coast of East Timor.

The threat came from Taur Matan Ruak, Falintil field commander and deputy to the imprisoned Xanana Gusmão, after Indonesian troops executed traditional leader, Liurai Suku Taitudak, (note: identification by ETISC) and at least two young people, and went on a rampage of murder and desecration at a local church. They burst into the church during mass, shot the priest, then fired at random, killing and wounding many of the congregation and destroying statues and symbols. The priest, either wounded or dead, was taken away by the military and his whereabouts was unknown early today (AEST 16/11/98). Falintil fighters captured the two officers, along with 12 other soldiers later released, in a raid on the Indonesian regional military headquarters at Same last week. They also captured 40 guns and 3800 rounds of ammunition.

The captured officers are from the Indonesian army's 744 battalion. The 315 and 745 battalions and a contingent of marines are also in the area. The Falintil raid was in response to Indonesia's massive secret troop build-up and attacks on Falintil on many fronts following a period of relative calm punctuated by peaceful demonstrations by East Timorese.

On the political front, Taur Matan Ruak appealed to Timorese inside and outside East Timor, and to Portugal, to reject Indonesia's push to integrate East Timor with special status. Integration under any status would amount to handing Falintil over to a murderous Indonesian army bent on revenge and making amends for its own failures. Taur Matan Ruak asked the President of the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT), João Carrascalão, to tell delegates at the UN-sponsored talks in New York on East Timor's future that Falintil would not lay down their arms until international observers were in East Timor to supervise self-determination.

FURTHER INFORMATION: João Carrascalão, President, UDT % 0418 767 101 Issued on behalf of UDT by Geoffrey Heard & Associates Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

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