Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 22:29 GMT 23:29 UK
Gurkhas bring hope to Timor town
Those needing urgent attention were evacuated to Dili
British Gurkhas in East Timor have reached the eastern town of Vikeke, bringing nearer the arrival of desperately needed aid and medical supplies.
Many of the inhabitants of the town, about 100km south-east of the capital Dili, were in urgent need of medical attention.
Now a medical evacuation is under way.
The Gurkhas were on high alert, although the militias are now mainly concentrated in the west of the province.
On Sunday, an Australian patrol shot dead an Indonesian policeman in a clash on the border with neighbouring West Timor, and the situation is still unpredictable across East Timor.
The UN-backed force has come in for criticism for its apparent slowness in reaching areas already vacated by the militias.
But its commander, Major-General Peter Cosgrove, defended his tactics.
He said that if he spread his troops too thinly, he risked tempting attacks by "criminal adversaries".