Subject: JP: E. Timor police kill ex-militiamen

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

The Jakarta Post Sept. 23, 2003

E. Timor police kill ex-militiamen

ATAMBUA, East Nusa Tenggara: Authorities said on Monday they were increasing security in the border area between East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and East Timor after the killing of a former pro-Jakarta militiamen, blamed on police from the neighboring country.

The East Timorese police have been accused of shooting dead Vegas Bibilitu, a resident from Turiskain village, Raihat subdistrict, Belu regency, on Friday.

Kupang Wirasakti military chief Col. Moeswarno Moesanif confirmed the shooting of the former East Timorese militiamen in an area close to the Balibaca River, which falls within the Tactical Coordination zone.

Belu Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Agus Nugroho said that based on a preliminary investigation, Vegas was shot dead in the chest while trying to sneak into East Timor across the river, carrying arrows.

Quoting a statement by an East Timorese police officer, he said the shooting was aimed at self-defense as Vegas had fired an arrow at another East Timorese police officer.

Vegas' body was still with the East Timor police, who are investigating the incident.

The Belu authorities temporarily closed Turiskain traditional market, some two kilometers from the scene, to prevent possible revenge attacks by local residents.

Lt. Col. Joko Setiyono, a security taskforce commander in the border area, said the market would be reopened soon after the situation returned to normal.

"The incident has prompted us to order all Indonesian Military troops to increase security surveillance to maintain peace in the border area," he said. --JP

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