Subject: RDP: Australian soldier wounded in border post grenade attack

Timor: Australian soldier wounded in UN border post grenade attack

05/29/2000 BBC Monitoring Source: RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, in Portuguese 0800 gmt 29 May

Excerpts from report by Portuguese radio on 29th May

[Presenter] There have been clashes at a border between East and West Timor. A grenade was thrown at a UN post. There was an exchange of fire in another incident. The situation is so worrying that Sergio Vieira de Mello [head of UNTAET, UN Transitional Administration in East Timor ] has decided to fly to Jakarta to discuss with the Indonesian authorities ways to avoid a repetition of these incidents [trip was already planned, see below]. UNTAET spokesman Barbara Reis has explained what happened.

[Reis] On Sunday night [28th May] at about 2300, UN troops near Maliana saw with their night vision equipment a group of four men getting closer to the UN post. Ten minutes later a grenade was thrown at the UN post, 13 km from Maliana.

[Reporter] How is the injured Australian soldier?

[A] The soldier was wounded by shrapnel from the grenade and was transferred to Dili hospital. He is stable. On Saturday night [27th May] at about 2040, in the area where the New Zealand troops are stationed, a man came close to the UN forces with a firearm. The man pointed the weapon at the troops who responded with warning shots into the air.

[Q] ...Despite all the promises from the West Timorese authorities these incidents keep occurring, isn't UNTAET worried?

[A] Of course it is. Not only was a memorandum of understanding signed but the Indonesian forces, as promised, have strengthened their contingent near the border. Naturally this is very worrying. Today the head of UNTAET went to Jakarta - the trip was already planned - but it coincides with these incidents and no doubt he will seriously raise the issue again during his meeting with President Wahid at their meeting tomorrow...

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