FIJI SOLDIERS ROUT EAST TIMOR INSURGENTS

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SUVA, Fiji (fijivillage, Mar. 31) - Fiji soldiers serving in
East Timor have won the thanks of the East Timorese after operations that
resulted in the capture of eight violent militia last month.

The soldiers, serving in a United Nations peacekeeping force,
hunted down militia believed to have crossed from Indonesian West Timor and
attacked, robbed and killed local civilians.

At least one militia is believed to have been shot and wounded
in the Fiji action.

Military spokesperson Warrant Officer Neumi Leweni said since
then the militia have not dared to strike.

The militia are believed to have been among pro-Indonesian
forces who originally fled to West Timor after a rampage that led to
international military intervention in East Timor. The militia had tried
unsuccessfully to stop East Timor separating from Indonesia.

Warrant Officer Leweni said that the situation quieted down
after the Fiji soldiers tracked and captured militia members who had fled into
the bush.

April 1, 2003

Pacific Islands News Association: http://www.ifex.org/members/pina/ 

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