Subject: AN: TNI to form special battalion to guard Timor border

ARMY TO FORM SPECIAL BATTALION TO GUARD BORDER WITH E TIMOR

May 10, 2005 7:02am Asia Intelligence Wire

Denpasar, May 9 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian army is to form a special battalion to guard the country's 240-km-long land border with East Timor or Timor Leste in East Nusatenggara, a spokesman said.

"The army's Infantry Battalion 744 in East Nusa Tenggara will be upgraded to become a special battalion. We hope we will accomplish this in 2006," Maj Gen Herry Tjahjana, chief of the Undaya Military Command overseeing East Nusatenggara, said.

The upgrading would mean the battalion's professionalism, equipment and personnel strength would be increased, he said.

"There are still many problems in the border areas," he said.

"I think they can all be settled in the future. Especially after we have set up the special battalion," he said.

Aside from Infantry Battalion 744, three other infantry battalions from the Udayana Military Command were currently on duty in areas bordering East Timor.

A special battalion comprises five companies or 1,039 men.

An Indonesian Army officer recently was severely injured in a shootout with East Timorese National Police while trying to foil a fuel oil smuggling attempt in the area.


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