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UN Compound In Dili Defended By Indonesian Army

Speaking from the UN Compound in Dili by phone to Radio New Zealand New Zealander Andrew Ladley of the UNAMET mission says the compound is now secure as it is being defended by a new army unit which has just arrived.

Yesterday alarming scenes were screened on television of the compound under attack with refugees climbing over razor-wire fences.

Mr Ladley said he suspected that "professional jealousy" meant that the army unit that was now defending the UN would not now be attacked.

Asked what was happening now Andrew Ladley said his impression was that the present events were the last farewell of the Indonesian military to East Timor.

This was he said, "the last orgy of destruction." Mr Ladley said all reports indicated that Dili was being trashed by military and militia units.

Q: (Kim Hill - RNZ) Are you frightened?

A: (Ladley) No frankly. And that is not bravado. Quite frankly this complex to the best of our knowledge is secure. It is very heart-warming to wander around the complex people come up and touch your hand. Last night the compound came to life with hundreds of children singing. There are shots all the time but we do not know who they are shooting at. But there is no sense of immediate threat here now.

Q: If B.J. Habibe and Ali Alatas come here is there any point in saying anything to them?

A: I think it is all being said. By the security council, by anyone who knows anything. The fact is that testimony we are gathering indicates that Timor and Dili in particular are being trashed. There is no question that this is being done by the Indonesian army. Another group of the army arrived yesterday at 4pm and things may be improving.

Mr Ladley said it was now clear why the Indonesian Police had not stepped in to stop the militia. This was because the militia were acting under military protection. He knew of an instance where an Indonesian police officer had attempted to stop a militia attack and had been shot for his troubles.

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