Subject: Irish troops fire shots during East Timor patrol

Irish Times Irish troops fire shots during East Timor patrol

By Aoife O'Reilly Last updated: 15-08-01, 13:12

Irish troops on peacekeeping duty in East Timor are continuing their patrols today after an incident in which they fired warning shots at four men yesterday.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. Irish time (8 p.m. local time) during a five-day patrol on the border between West and East Timor by ten Irish soldiers attached to the New Zealand battalion with UNTAET.

Four men approached an observation post set up by the troop. When the men refused to stop, the Irish soldiers discharged a number of warning shots. But the four continued to move forward and drew machetes.

After the Irish troops fired another round of warning shots, two of men ran back over the border into West Timor and the other two disappeared into the undergrowth.

There were no injuries. The troops called for reinforcements and alerted their headquarters.

Army spokesman Comdt Ciaran McDaid told no further incidents have been reported by the men who are continuing their patrol.

"There is no cause for alarm and the men are perfectly safe," he said.

The men, part of Irish peacekeeping force in East Timor, are members of the Fifth Infantry Battalion based in McKee Barracks in Dublin.

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