Subject: AP: Second Timorese man dies after being shot by Australian soldier

Second Timorese man dies after being shot by Australian soldier

The Associated Press

Published: February 24, 2007

DILI, East Timor: A second Timorese man has died after being shot by an Australian soldier during a confrontation near the capital's airport, officials said.

The Australian government said the soldier shot his weapon in self-defense after being attacked by a group of men firing steel arrows.

Atoy Dasy died Friday from blood loss after undergoing chest surgery, Americo dos Santos, head of the Emergency Unit of Dili National Hospital, said Saturday. Another man died shortly after being shot in the head, while a third was shot in the leg.

Dasy, 32, was the brother-in-law of a member of parliament, Antonio Ximenes, who called for an independent inquiry into "a crime against the rights of the East Timorese people."

The incident was the first confirmed fatal shooting by foreign peacekeepers since they arrived in the country last June, highlighting the fragile security situation in the tiny nation just weeks ahead of presidential elections on April 9.

Australians were warned to watch out for reprisal attacks following the killing, which came a day after seven U.N. officers were wounded by stone throwing gangs.

East Timor, a fledgling country of less than a million people, broke from Indonesia in 1999 after 24 years of occupation. Crisis broke our anew last April and May when factional fighting erupted between police and army forces. The clashes spilled onto the streets, where looting, arson and gang warfare left at least 37 dead and sent 155,000 people fleeing their homes.

Relative calm was restored with the arrival of more than 2,500 foreign peacekeepers and the installation of a new government led by Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, but dozens of people have been killed in recent months in fighting by rival gangs.

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