Thứ Bảy, 23 tháng 2, 2008

E. Timor seeks to extend emergency rule

DILI, East Timor (AP) -- East Timor government ministers said Friday they want to extend a state of emergency imposed after attacks on the country's two top leaders, as authorities vowed to capture the assailants.
Meanwhile, more than 1,000 police and soldiers paraded through the capital, Dili, in an apparent show of force following the February 11 attacks that critically wounded President Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
A group of dismissed soldiers was suspected in the shootings.
"Wherever they are hiding, in rat holes or under stones, we will chase them," East Timor army commander Brig. Gen. Matan Ruak said. "Our operations will also be against their supporters."
Ramos-Horta was recovering from bullet wounds to his upper body at a hospital in nearby Australia.

On the same day as the attack on the president, assailants fired on a motorcade carrying Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. He escaped unhurt.
Ramos-Horta's guards fatally shot a rebel leader during the attack, but about 20 other suspects are still at large.
Soon afterward, the country declared a state of emergency that is to end Saturday.
A government statement said ministers had asked Acting President Fernando "Lasama" de Araujoto to extend by 30 days the emergency rule, which banned demonstrations and imposed a nighttime curfew. The statement gave no reason for the request.
The president must ask Parliament to approve any such extension. It was not clear when lawmakers might meet on the issue.
The attack on Ramos-Horta was apparently a sudden escalation in a bitter dispute between the government and several hundred ex-soldiers who were fired in 2006 after going on strike to protest alleged discrimination.
The country has been calm since the attacks on the leaders, despite fears of more unrest.
East Timor, formerly occupied by Indonesia, has struggled with political turmoil and violence since it gained independence in 2002. Most of its 1 million people live in poverty.
About 1,000 Australian police and soldiers and a separate U.N. police force are stationed in the country

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