SYDNEY, Australia -- Indonesian troops invaded Portuguese East Timor today by sea and by air and swiftly occupied its capital city of Dili, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported.
ABC said its Darwin office was receiving radio messages of the attack, which was launched early today. The network said its sources for the report were "independent and reliable."
ABC quoted a witness to the attack as saying Indonesian troops had occupied the Dili military headquarters and administration building.
It said more than 1,000 troops were parachuted into Dili or landed from small boats sent out from three or four warships in Dili harbor.
The radio messages said unidentified aircraft also had been seen over Alieu, about 30 miles inland from Dili.
Alieu is a mountain township where the Revolutionary Front for East Timor (Fretilin) is reported to have planned to set up its headquarters in the event of an invasion.
Fretilin leaders were reported to have fled to the mountains surrounding Dili, ABC said.
East Timor is a Portuguese territory within the Indonesian archipelago about 350 miles northwest of Australia.
Civil war flared on the island this summer with three factions vying for control of the territory when it gains independence from Portugal.
Portugal has promised to grant the Pacific territory independence.
Jakarta has been seriously concerned about the situation in Timor, fearing that guerrilla activity there could spread into Indonesia.