Aussie Troops Arrive in East Timor

New peacekeepers fly in under state of emergency as president recovers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2008 4:05 AM CST
Jose Ramos-Horta speaks at a campaign rally in Dili, the capital of East Timor in this April 4, 2007 file photo. East Timor President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta was wounded in a pre-dawn...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.