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Reporters on the Job

Visiting the Timorese Rebels: When a rebel movement goes into hiding in the mountains, as they have in East Timor, journalists expect security measures to make it difficult to reach them. But reporter Nick Squires found the opposite. "It was a somewhat grueling 2.5 hour drive up narrow, potholed mountain roads. But there were no special passwords or checkpoints or roadblocks," he says.

Instead, he found the leader, Lt. Cmdr. Alfredo Reinado, enjoying the media attention "After I spoke with him, a CNN crew arrived. He's holed up in a former Portuguese posada, a guest house, on the top of a hill in the middle of a bowl of mountains. The view is spectacular," he says.

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Some of his followers - disaffected East Timorese soldiers and policemen - were relaxing nearby, playing tabletop soccer. One was swinging on an old wooden swing hung from a tree. Completing the scene were about half a dozen Australian troops who were helicoptered in as part of Australia's effort to put lid on the violence. They were also lounging nearby, reading paperbacks or listening to their iPods. "It wasn't clear if they were keeping watch on the rebel leader or protecting him," says Nick. But he notes that Commander Reinado welcomed the attention.

David Clark Scott
World editor


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