East Timor president shot at home

Jose Ramos-Horta
Ramos-Horta won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996
The President of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta, is undergoing emergency surgery after his house in the capital Dili came under attack.

A renegade soldier, Alfredo Reinado, was shot dead by the president’s guards. The president was shot in the stomach during the shoot-out.

Last November, Reinado had threatened to use force against the government.

He had been indicted for his alleged role in fighting between rebel troops and police in 2006.

The attack happened at around 0700 on Monday (2200GMT Sunday), when two cars drove past the president’s house and shooting began, army spokesman Major Domingos de Camara said.

One soldier was also reported to be seriously wounded.

The president was taken to a hospital run by the Australian military in Dili, and is now undergoing surgery, a presidential advisor said.

Local media carried unconfirmed reports that the house of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao was also attacked, but that no one was hurt in that incident.

Unrest fear

Alfredo Reinado
Reinado has been indicted over the 2006 unrest in East Timor

The UN has been in charge of security in the capital for the past two years, since unrest which began when then Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, dismissed a third of the armed forces for desertion, prompting the clashes between the police and the military.

Reinado was allegedly involved in fighting which followed and left 37 people dead. More than 150,000 were forced to flee their homes.

Last month the International Crisis Group warned that there was a risk of more civil unrest, unless the police and military were reformed.

Australian troops form the bulk of the international peacekeeping force in the country.

Nobel winner

Jose Ramos-Horta was prominent in the campaign against Indonesia rule, after the Portuguese withdrew from their former colony in 1975.

In 1996, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo.

East Timor gained independence in 2002.

From BBC website

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