Subject: ABC: Reinado can't hide indefinitely: Downer

ABC News Online

Monday, March 5, 2007. 9:07am (AEDT)

Reinado can't hide indefinitely: Downer

By Geoff Thompson

The United Nations (UN) mission in East Timor says its police are bracing for trouble after yesterday's deadly assault on supporters of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado.

Australian troops killed four supporters when they attempted to capture the rebel leader, south of the capital Dili.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says that the time for negotiation with Major Reinado is over.

But he insists Australian troops have no desire to kill the rebel leader.

Mr Downer has urged Major Reinado to surrender as soon as possible, saying cannot hide out in the jungle indefinitely.

Mr Downer also says Major Reinado's recent raids on police stations forced international security forces and the East Timorese Government to act.

"The fact that he and his cohorts managed to obtain quite a large number of weapons and high powered weapons - so in that sort of an environment, where they started raiding police stations, well action had to be taken," he said.

Alison Cooper, a spokeswoman for the UN mission in East Timor, says the UN's police are well prepared for trouble in the capital.

"It's nothing that hasn't been anticipated and it's certainly nothing that can't be responded to," she said.

Hundreds of Major Reinado's supporters protested near the Australian Embassy yesterday.

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