State of emergency declared in East Timor

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Prime Minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao, has declared a 48 hour state of emergency and a curfew in East Timor, following attacks on Jose Ramos-Horta, the leader of the country.

The state of emergency applies throughout East Timor and it prohibits all public gatherings. The curfew applies from 20:00 to 6:00 (East Timor time).

The President of East Timor, Jose Ramos-Horta, was seriously wounded by a bullet during an attack on his home in the early hours of this morning.

The first attack was carried out by a rebel army on at 06:00 am (East Timor time). During the attack the rebels launched a shootout with guards of the house.

Ramos-Horta was transferred by air to Darwin, where he was taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital. The staff at the hospital have said they expect Ramos-Horta to make a "full recovery" and that he is in a stable condition.

Australia has sent support forces to East Timor along with 1,700 troops from the United Nations (UN) to help to help stabilize the situation in the country.