International Federation for East Timor
Observer Project

Media Alert:
Militia Attacks in Dili

For immediate release
Dili, East Timor: Sunday September 5

International Federation for East Timor (IFET) Observer Project
East Timor Field Office

Bairro Pite Kec.
RT/RW 01 (di depan SD 4)
Dili Barat, East Timor
Tel. 62-390-321969 fax:62-390-321264

This report has been compiled under extremely difficult circumstances as the situation in Dili deteriorates by the hour.

Last night (Saturday) there was shooting throughout the night in the Dili suburb of Becora which continued till sun rise. Also early this morning hand grenades were heard to be exploding. Becora is now blockaded -- nobody can get in or out. There is unconfirmed reports of many killings of men, women and children. An unconfirmed number of 77 bodies are reported to be scatted throughout houses, lane and water ways. Bodies of young children are reported to be among the dead including one with a twisted neck. There are also reports of children bodies being thrown on fires. The Red Cross and UNAMET have been denied access and are under strict orders not to leave their compounds. Nobody is able to investigate these reports.There has been one witness that has come into the IFET office to report on the Becora killings but people are too fearful to move out of the area. Approximately 1,000 people are seeking refuge in a local church.

Another report estimates that 200 refugees are at the Protestant Hosana Church. At 2pm today there was shooting coming from the downtown area of Dili where the church is situated.

At 4pm the police moved into the Mahkota hotel led journalists out of their rooms to protect them from militia violence, and escorted them to the airport. The building next to the hotel is on fire.

In the suburb of Balide at 5pm it was reported that buildings were on fire and 300 refugees were held up in a church school with Silesian Sisters. The Timor Aid office in this area was looted.

There has been a warning that the Motael Clinic will be attacked tonight and the building destroyed. There are 3 doctors and 2 nurses, some of them Australian. At present there are 25 patients and their family members. A total of 57 people people.

The situation has now become crucial. IFET -- OP believes that unless there is an immediate intervention by a peace- keeping force within days, the consequences will be catastrophe.

The International Federation for East Timor Observer Project is a U.N.-accredited election monitoring organization and the largest observer group in East Timor.  

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