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Death of New Zealand Peacekeeper in East Timor

Media Release The Hon. John Moore, MP Minister for Defence

Tuesday, 25 July 2000 MIN179/00

Death of New Zealand Peacekeeper in East Timor

I am deeply saddened by news of the death of a New Zealand soldier in East Timor.

Private Leonard Manning was a member of a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping patrol which had been sent to an area near Nanu to investigate reports from locals that armed men were operating in the area.

A small militia group, which had crossed into East Timor, opened fire on Private Manning's patrol and regrettably, Private Manning was killed while withdrawing to safer ground.

I join Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, and our New Zealand counterparts, in condemning those responsible for this tragic loss of life.

I call on the Indonesian Government to do everything possible to stamp out militia activity in West Timor.

The New Zealand Defence Force has made a very significant contribution to the success of the UN peacekeeping operation in East Timor.

I know that all in the Australian Defence community feel very deeply about the loss of a member of the New Zealand contingent serving there.

On behalf of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Private Manning.


ENDS

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