Subject: AN: E Timorese border crosser shot dead

10/26/07 16:25

E Timorese border crosser shot dead

Atambua (ANTARA News) - Indonesian security officers early Friday shot to death an East Timorese national, Lucas Neno (45), who was suspected of being engaged in smuggling activity in a region bordering East Timor as he tried to attack the officers, a military official said.

The incident happened in Mota Masin, Malaka Barat sub district, Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara, Lt Col Hotman Nutahaen, commander of the Security Task Force in Indonesia-East Timor border areas, told ANTARA News here Friday.

He said his men had followed the right procedure in taking the action.

"Our men in Mota Masin were on a patrol in a border area when they found Lucas Neno illegally crossing the border. They approached him but he pulled out a machete and tried to attack them," he said.

The security officers then fired a warning shot and asked Lucas to stop his act. "But he didn`t listen and attacked the officers who then shot him," Hutahaen said.

Following the incident which occurred at about 4.30 a.m. local time, Lucas was rushed to an army hospital in Atambua but he died on the way to the hospital at 8.20 a.m. due to hemorrhage.

According to Hutahaen, further information on the incident is being collected and an initial investigation is underway.

"A number of civilians have said Lucas had crossed the border to engage in smuggling activity," Hutahaen said, adding that one of his main duties as Security Task Force commander in the border regions was to stamp out smuggling activity. (*)

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