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East Timor president wounded in attack

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080211/ap_on_re_as/east_timor_president;_ylt=Age9UL2A0.wSAiXHTfK0pFYUewgF East Timor president wounded in attack By GUIDO GOULART,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080211/ap_on_re_as/east_timor_president;_ylt=Age9UL2A0.wSAiXHTfK0pFYUewgF

      East Timor president wounded in attack

      By GUIDO GOULART, Associated Press Writer 4 minutes
      ago

      DILI, East Timor - Rebel soldiers attacked the home of
      President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose
      Ramos-Horta early Monday, wounding him in the stomach.
      Gunmen also opened fire on a motorcade carrying the
      prime minister but no one was injured.

      "The state came under attack," Prime Minister Xanana
      Gusmao told reporters. "The attempt to kill the prime
      minister and president today failed and only the
      President was injured."

      Monday's violence plunged the recently independent
      nation into fresh uncertainty after a flare-up in
      violence in 2006 killed 37 people, displaced more than
      150,000 others and led to the collapse of the
      government.

      Ramos-Horta was in "stable condition" following the
      shooting Monday and would be flown to neighboring
      Australia for further treatment if necessary, Gusmao
      said.

      Two cars carrying rebels soldiers passed Ramos-Horta's
      house on the outskirts of Dili at around 7 a.m. local
      time and began shooting, said army spokesman Maj.
      Domingos da Camara. The guards returned fire, he said.

      Notorious rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in
      the attack, as was one of Ramos-Horta's guards, da
      Camara said.

      Reinado was due to go on trial in absentia for his
      alleged role in several deadly shootings between
      police and military units during the violence in 2006.
      He had evaded captured since then and refused repeated
      pleas by the government to surrender.

      Australian-led troops restored calm following the 2006
      turmoil and peaceful elections were held in which
      Ramos-Horta was elected president. Low-level violence
      had continued in the country of 1 million people since
      then.

      Deposed Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has maintained
      Ramos-Horta's government was illegitimate. His
      political party immediately condemned Monday's attack
      in a statement released to the media.

      East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, gained
      independence in 2002 after voting to break free from
      more than two decades of brutal Indonesian occupation
      in a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

      Ramos-Horta and Gusmao, who led the armed struggle
      against the occupation, have vowed to tackle rampant
      poverty and restore damaged relations between the
      country's police and army.

      Ramos-Horta shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize with
      countryman Bishop Carlos Belo for leading a nonviolent
      struggle against the occupation.
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