|East Timor||ARMY BOMBING REFUGEES IN EAST TIMOR|
Sources of the Vatican's Fides news agency report that the Indonesian army is preparing to bomb the refugees in the mountains south of Dili. The military are waiting for the launching of humanitarian aid by parachutes to identify the refugees and the areas where they are hiding."
"It is the last terrorist act before the U.N. troops arrive," Maria del Carmen Aparicio, Mother General of the Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, told Fides.
Resistance sources in Timor confirmed that the army is preparing intense bombings. According to David Ximenes, the resistance's leader, the aggression is imminent and would cover the area where 60,000 civilians are camping. "They will attack several fronts with paramilitaries. We don't know where to hide. Our children are dying of hunger," an independence supporter said.
Fr Ignatius Ismartono, adviser of the Indonesia Episcopal Conference, admitted that he also heard rumors about an imminent military attack on the refugees, but he has no concrete evidence. The priest explained the strategy of these operations with a metaphor. "The militiamen no longer have anything to lose. They are like rabid dogs surrounded by the whole world: the time has arrived when the animal -- confined to a corner, bites without hesitation whoever is closest. The pretext for the attack is that Timor's Resistance Council is in the mountains."
"If the international force arrived in Dili today, it would be a week late. If a smaller force had arrived last week, an incredible number of human lives could have been saved," a Jesuit from Timor who preferred not to be identified, said.
Zenit (available soon) 12:11pm 16/9/99