Subject: AFP: East Timor students attacked in church: NGO report
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999 10:02:58 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

East Timor students attacked in church: NGO report

JAKARTA, Aug 6 (AFP) - Pro-Indonesia East Timorese militia on Friday attacked a group of students in a church in the township of Same, injuring one of them seriously, a foreign observer group said.

"They had taken refuge in a church after being prevented from setting up a campaign post, and were attacked," Will Seaman of the International Federation for East Timor (IFET-OP), said by telephone from the capital of Dili.

Seaman told AFP that IFET-OP received the report of the attack by telephone from its observers in Same, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Dili at around 2pm local time (0800 GMT).

"It seems the weapons used in the attack were either knives or machetes," he said, adding that Indonesian police witnessed the attack but did not try to stop it.

"Accordidng to three of our IFET-OP observers present the police walked slowly towards the disturbance, but did nothing to prevent the attack," he said.

He was unable to say how many students or how many militia were involved in the incident, after which the students fled towards a UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) voter registration post .

But UNAMET staff said they were unable to help because security was beyond the scope of their mission, Seaman said.

UNAMET is in East Timor to conduct a referendum in which East Timorese will say whether they want to accept or reject an Indonesian offer of autonomy, and IFET-OP is one of several UN-accredited observer groups.

Voter registration for the August 30 ballot ends Friday, and the campaign period is scheduled to start next week.

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