Subject: AN: RI sends warships, Nomad planes to marine border with Timor Leste

RI sends warships, Nomad planes to marine border with Timor Leste

Surabaya (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) has sent four warships and two Nomad reconnaissance planes to the Indonesia-Timor Leste marine border following the escalation of an armed conflict in the neghbouring country, a spokesman said.

"The four warships consist of two fast patrol boats with around 60 crew on board respectively and two corvettes each with 150 crew on board," Navy Chief of Staff Slamet Soebijanto said here on Monday.

The warships were currently already patrolling waters shared by Indonesia and Timor Leste, he said after the handing over ceremony of Chief of the Naval Academy Command (Kodical).

A number of other patrol boats were on standby for departure to the border area when needed.

Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Air Marshal Djoko Suyanto had previously instructed the miitary rank-and-file stationed near the Indonesia-Timor Leste border to intensify security patrols amid the escalation of the conflicts in newly-independent Timor Leste.

A number of people were killed in armed clashes between Timor Leste security forces and cashiered srvicemen as Asia`s poorest nation slipped closer to chaos. Timor Leste Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said the gunbattles in Dili and elsewhere had left a number of security troops kiled.

The skirmishes erupted last month in Timor Leste after some 600 members of the tiny country`s 1,400-strong military were dismissed. The renegade soldiers deserted after complaining of alleged discrimination because they came from the western part of the tiny country.

In a desperate move to stop the rampage, East Timor invited peacekeepers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Portugal to help restore calm.(*)

May 29 18:01

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