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U.N. hails surrender of Timorese attackers

April 29, 2008 at 7:32 PM

DILI, Timor-Leste, April 29 (UPI) -- U.N. officials in Timor-Leste Tuesday welcomed the surrender of 12 rebels wanted in an assassination attempt on the nation's president and prime minister.

Atul Khare, head of the United Nations mission in the East Asian nation, said the Feb. 11 attacks on President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao had threatened the country, the U.N. News Center reported. Speaking of rebel commander Gastao Salsinha and his followers, who surrendered to authorities April 26 after negotiations led by a Catholic priest, Khare said, "They must now face justice."

Ramos-Horta, who was seriously wounded in the attack on his residence, recently returned to Timor-Leste after recovering from his injuries in Australia. Prime Minister Gusmao was not injured.

Khare urged all Timorese to work together toward a "peaceful, prosperous and stable nation, securely anchored in a culture of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights."

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