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Militia Casualty In East Timor


NEW ZEALAND DEFENCE FORCE
TE OPE KAATUA O AOTEAROA


September 26, 2000.

MEDIA RELEASE

MILITIA CASUALTY IN EAST TIMOR


A group of New Zealand Battalion soldiers has exchanged shots with a group of militia south west of Kulit, eight kilometres from the Timorese border. A number of shots were fired in the contact, killing one member of the militia group. The remainder of the militia group has withdrawn into the surrounding bush. None of the New Zealand soldiers were injured in the exchange. The contact occurred at approximately 3pm (New Zealand time).

The contact was initiated when the group of armed militia approached the group of New Zealand soldiers who were in a static position to observe any threat group movement in the Kulit area.

The New Zealand Battalion group has been aware of a group of militia moving within their area of operations for the past week. Earlier today a group of 15 armed militia was observed close to the contact site.

Speaking from East Timor Joint Commander Brigadier Jerry Mataparae said that once there is a fuller appreciation of the situation further details will be released.

ENDS

Contact Army Public Relations Officer Belinda Ryan on 025 443 404



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