Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fighting rages on in East Timor

Firefights continued in Dili, the East Timor capital, with three people killed and a dozen wounded in fighting Thursday.

Some 600 sacked soldiers are fighting 800 soldiers of the East Timor army. The rebels, from the western part of the young nation, were forced out of the military after protesting discrimination they say favors soldiers from the east.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan voiced concern over the continuing unrest and will send an envoy to Dili.

Annan, traveling in Vietnam, said he would send Ian Martin, the U.N.'s human rights representative in Nepal, to East Timor to address the issue. He said that he had also spoken to East Timor's president, Xanana Gusmao, and to the leaders of Australia and Malaysia, both of which are sending security forces to assist Dili.

The rebels led by Maj. Alfredo Reinado are demanding that they be reinstated into the nation's army.

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