Subject: AFP: Four foreigners killed in savage attack on UN in West Timor

Also AFP: "We sit here like bait," slain UN worker's e-mail tells Security Council

Four foreigners killed in savage attack on UN in West Timor

JAKARTA, Sept 6 (AFP) - Four people, all believed to be foreign UN staff, were killed in a savage attack by hundreds of pro-Indonesian militia on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in West Timor Wednesday, a UN official said.

"Yes there were three burned bodies taken out out of the UNHCR building in (the border town of) Atambua," a UN staffer, speaking by phone from the West Timor capital of Kupang told AFP.

"A fourth international (person) was dragged out of a hotel and burned in front of it, one of our local staff said. We don't know the name of the person or who he worked for.

"We have four foreign staff unaccounted for, but they could be in hiding, because a lot of international staff were being chased by militia," said the UNHCR worker, who gave his name only as Werner.

He said the UNHCR believed the three bodies taken from the burned UNHCR office were those of their missing staff.

Earlier reports had said that only two people had been injured in the attack .

The militia attack was the deadliest since the UNHRC arrived there to help repatriate East Timorese refugees.

The survivors of the attack were in hiding awaiting rescue helicopters from the UN peacekeeping force (UNPKF) in East Timor, but in the East Timorese capital of Dili, a UNPKF said the rescue mission was stalled.

"We have still not launched out craft, and I don't know where the hiccough is," Colonel Brynjar Nymo told AFP.

"We've been in contact with (regional Indonesian commander) Major General Kiki Syahnakri and he is well aware of what we are aiming at doing.

"But I am not privy to all the minute-to-minute negotiations. We have still not to my knowledge had clearance from Indonesian authorities," Nymo said.

But in Kupang, Chris Lom of the International Orgaization for Migration (IOM), whose Atambua offica was also attacked Wednesday, told AFP by phone at 5:20 PM (0920 GMT) -- some six hours after the attack -- that he understood a joint evacuation effort was already underway by UNPK and Indonesian security.

"About 15 international staff are being evacuated (from Atambua) but they are spread all over town, so it's very difficult," he said.

He said the 15 included staff from nongovernmental organizations as well as UN agencies.

The IOM's Atambua international staff had all been evacuated last month, and were not among Wednesday's evacuees, he said.

He said the UN was also trying to get their local staff out.

Meanwhile in Kupang, Lom said 40 to 50 international staff were holding a meeting. "Essentially everyone is waiting to see what happens in Atambua," he said, when asked whether they too would leave.

Earlier Lom had told AFP that the attacks on the UNHCR and IOM offices in Atambua were launched by hundreds of militia who had been parading through town with the body of a dead militia leader, killed by unknown assassins the day before.

They burned the UNHCR building to the ground and ransacked the empty IOM office, he said.

A local journalist in Atambua told AFP that the three bodies from the UNHCR office had later been taken out of the rubble and had been laid on the ground near the burned office.

A military officer in Bali, the headquarters of the Udayana command which overseas East Timor, said Udayana commander Major General Kiki Syahnakri had flown to Kupang as soon as he recieved the news.

Tensions have been high among the miiltia since Indonesia pledged to close border refugee camps there within three months.

The militia, backed by the Indonesian military, laid waste to East Timor then fled to West Timor ahead of the peacekeepers' arrival after last year's vote for independence in East Timor.

Lom said that after Tuesday's murder: "Everyone had been advised to stay home, and shops were shut. But they had not expected the crowd to run amok," he said of the funeral procession.

"The balloon went up," Lom told AFP.

Jake Moreland, a Kupang official of the UNHCR said the two organizations were taking precautions to protect their Kupang staff after the Atambua attack.

"We're moving all international staff to a central location in Kupang so that we are all in the one location," Moreland said.

The state Antara news agency idenfied the dead militiaman as Olivio Mendosa Moruk, one of the three rebel leaders named as suspects by Jakarta in a probe into the militia violence after last year's East Timor vote.

Antara decribed the attack on the UNHCR office as "brutal."

---- "We sit here like bait," slain UN worker's e-mail tells Security Council

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 7 (AFP) - The Security Council condemned a savage militia attack on a UN office in West Timor on Wednesday after hearing a graphic account by one of three humanitarian workers who was about to die.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had an urgent meeting with Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit and also condemned the murders, UN officials said.

"Members of the Security Council condemn this egregious and contemptible act on unarmed international staff," the council said in a statement released after an emergency meeting called to discuss the attack.

Three foreign workers with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) -- American Carlos Casaeres, Ethiopian Samson Aregaheyen and Croat Peril Simundze -- were killed in the early Wednesday attack that followed warnings of impending militia activity.

Diplomats who attended the closed-door council meeting said UNHCR chief Sadako Ogata read to them an e-mail sent by Casaeres shortly before the attack began, describing the harrowing conditions in the West Timorese town of Atambua.

"We are waiting here for this enemy, we sit here like bait, unarmed waiting for wave (sic) to hit," Casaeres replied to a friend who had e-mailed to ask, "are you still there?"

"The militias are on the way and I am sure they will do their best to demolish this office," wrote Casaeres, who had been scheduled to be rotated out of Atambua on Thursday for a three-week break.

"These guys kill without thinking and can kill a human as easily (and painlessly) as I kill mosquitos in my room," he wrote.

Casaeres, Aregaheyen and Simundze had decided to remain at their posts despite information received on Monday that a militia would be marching through Atambua to mourn the death of one its members -- a suspect in the July murder of a UN peacekeeper from New Zealand.

Much of the staff was sent home at that point, UN officials said.

The UN under-secretary general for peacekeeping operations, Bernard Miyet, told the council that about 30 to 50 militia members broke off from the procession and attacked the UNHCR compound.

One of the three UN workers was reportedly trying to call the regional UNHCR office in Kupang to report the attack while the militia were in the compound, Miyet said.

Afterwards, the militia were reported to be going door-to-door looking for foreign aid workers and were said to have set a number of buildings on fire.

In his chilling e-mail, Casaeres said he hoped to be able to leave as scheduled on September 7, but was nonetheless determined to complete his job beforehand.

"As I wait for the militias to do their business, I will draft the agenda for tomorrow's meeting on Kupang," he wrote. "The purpose of the meeting is to discuss how we are to proceed with the operation."

He ended the note simply: "Carlos."

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