DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     December 21, 1999     vol. 10, no. 242

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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PEACEKEEPERS UNEARTH MASSACRE SITES IN EAST TIMOR

        DILI, East Timor (CWNews.com) - Australian peacekeepers have found the bodies of dozens of victims of massacres by pro-Indonesia militias, as they investigated two separate locations.

        Navy divers recovered about a dozen bodies, many of them dismembered, from Lake Maubara on Monday. A Timorese human rights group estimates that 67 villagers were shot or hacked to death by Indonesian soldiers and militias at a church in the nearby town of Liquica on April 6 to intimidate voters. "We have been asked to search the lake to see if we can find anything else to connect the atrocity to the (Indonesian army) or the militia in the area at the time," said Lt. Commodore Jonathan Peacock, the Australian who commanded the naval detachment.

        Meanwhile, peacekeepers retrieved 14 bodies from a mass grave in Oecussi, an enclave that is cut off from the rest of East Timor. Australian peacekeepers believe the site contains more than 50 victims.

        Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence. After the pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on a rampage, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the former Portuguese colony.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 21, 1999       volume 10, no. 242
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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