26 October 2012

Massacre leaving 5 dead the result of a land dispute

Map shows location of Atabae
ETLJB 26 October 2012 - A horrifying massacre occurred in the village of Ailok Laran in Atabae yesterday (25/10/2012) which left 5 dead and 5 seriously injured. The injured are being treated in the Guido Valadares National Hospital in Dili. According to a report by Tempo Semanal, the dead comprised one man and a woman aged between 30-40 years and three children aged between three and twelve years.

In an exclusive interview with Tempo Semanal, the Commander of the East Timor National Police (PNTL) in Bobonaro District, Superintendent John Belo, said unknown persons with their faces covered attacked the residents in two houses with machetes killing four of the inhabitants immediately. The fifth died this morning in the National Hospital.

Witnesses who were at the hospital said the mother of a baby who was also attacked tried to save her child but he was wounded by a machete blow on the left side of the neck. The child's mother was killed and the child subsequently died.

The Bobonaro Police Commander did not reveal the cause of the slaughter because the case is still under investigation.

The area is now under control due to the quick intervention of the Maliana police, the special forces and the maritime police.

Timor Hau Nian Doben blog posted information received in an email saying that "this happened because of a land dispute and a martial arts group attacked the people in their homes.

It seems to me this this is a conflict between people who fled to Indonesia in 1999 and are now returning to occupy their land. In 90% of such cases, there is police involvement" the email said.

Author: Warren L. Wright Sources: Timor Hau Nia Doben (machine translation of the original Portuguese language post), Tempo Semanal. Map: United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

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