Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
'Urgent' talks call after Timor clash
Australians and Indonesians appear to have been using different maps
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has called for urgent high-level discussions with Jakarta after an Indonesian policeman was killed in a clash between international peacekeeping troops in East Timor and Indonesian security forces.
BBC South East Asia correspondent Simon Ingram says the risk of such incidents is bound to rise as the peacekeepers consolidate their presence in the west of the territory.
Indonesian Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, blamed peacekeeping troops for the clash.
Mr Howard told the Australian parliament: "The government regards the incident in the most serious terms."
"It shows that some elements in TNI (the Indonesian military) may be disregarding the terms of the U.N. Security Council ... and continuing to support militia groups."
The exchange of fire left two other policemen wounded, Indonesian media reported.
First direct clash with troops
It is the first time the members of the Interfet force have clashed directly with Indonesian security forces since they arrived last month.
The UN-backed force said that its troops were on the eastern side of the poorly marked border, disputing an earlier report in which Indonesian security personnel said the clash took place in West Timor.
It was the third fire exchange for the peacekeepers in a week.
A week of incidents
Earlier, Col Mark Kelly said that on Saturday a patrol of about five men from the multinational Interfet force responded when they came under attack from 12 to 15 militiamen.
Several other militiamen were thought to have been injured.
Col Kelly said the incident happened two kilometres inside the border at a village called Alto Lebos, north of the port of Suai.
He said the militiamen had been firing their weapons as they advanced through mountainous terrain, adopting what he described as an aggressive posture.
The special forces response unit had returned fire and retrieved the dead man's body before being evacuated by helicopter. Interfet troops suffered no casualties, he said.
The international force's first fatal engagement with the militias came on Monday last week, when two militiamen were killed and two Australian soldiers wounded.