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Australian-led peacekeepers hunt for rebels in East Timor

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An Australian-led peacekeeping force began hunting Thursday for rebel soldiers suspected in assassination attempts on East Timor's president and prime minister, both of whom were attacked Monday. The attempts on the lives of President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao highlight the nation-building challenges faced by East Timor, Asia's newest country.

Soldiers, helicopters, and armored vehicles have been searching the scrub outside the capital, Dili, for the suspects, the BBC reported. Australian doctors said Mr. Ramos-Horta, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning against Indonesia's occupation, was stable, recovering from gunshot wounds. But he remains in serious condition. Ramos-Horta was attacked by about 10 men near his home as he returned from a morning walk, officials said. His guards fired back, killing rebel leader Alfredo Reinado and one of his followers. Mr. Gusmao was unhurt in a separate attack Monday.


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