Hundreds of Australian troops began backing up peacekeeping forces in East Timor today as its president recovered from triple gunshot wounds in a failed coup attempt. An Australian warship also anchored off the coast, Reuters reports. A state of emergency has been declared amid concerns that the crisis could quickly worsen. A local military leader criticized the "lack of capacity" of Australian-led United Nations forces, in charge of security since 2005.
The renegade soldiers who attempted the coup and survived the shoot-out have fled into the jungle. The country's top military commander is urging them to return for talks. President Jose Ramos-Horta remains in an Australian hospital where he's expected to remain on life support until next week.