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Transcript ABC: Indonesia Will Not Attack ANZACs

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Saturday 18 September, 1999 (5:46pm AEST)


Indonesian military blasts attack claims

A senior Indonesian military figure has lashed out at claims that the Australian-led peacekeeping mission to East Timor could come under attack from Indonesian troops.

Army spokesman Major-General Suradjat has even suggested the claims may be a form of provocation from Australia's Prime Minister.

Maj-Gen Suradjat claims it is absurd and unethical to suggest Indonesian soldiers might attack the multinational force.

He says it is a form of provocation, apparently referring to Prime Minister Howard's warning that any attack on the peacekeepers would bring swift retaliation.

Indonesia has announced a staged withdrawal of its troops from East Timor.

Two locally-raised battalions have already been reassigned to nearby Flores Island, and another 8,000 troops are expected to leave before the peacekeepers arrive, most likely on Monday.

A reduced Indonesian force expects to play an advisory role.


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