Indonesia held its traditional Armed Forces Day on Sunday (5 October) just two weeks after Indonesian troops had seen action for the first time for many years.
Indonesia held its traditional Armed Forces Day on Sunday (5 October) just two weeks after Indonesian troops had seen action for the first time for many years. President Suharto and Defence Minster Maraden Panggabean watched the parade.
Indonesian troops were said to have killed 15 left wing Fretilin (the Revolutionary Front for the Independence of East Timor) soldiers on the Indonesian side of the border on September 25. Indonesian sources said their troops attacked after about 200 Fretilin soldiers had crossed into Indonesian West Timor and fired at least 20 mortar shells. General Panggabean said the mortar shells represented "a serious violation".
This year's military parade thus had added meaning as some reporters believe Indonesia may invade East Timor.
Fretilin leaders have claimed that President Suharto has been giving active support to the Democratic Union of Timor (UDT) and Apodeti political groups.
Both organisations are said to be pressing for eventual merger of the colony with Indonesia and Indonesian Army Newspaper Berita Yudha has admitted that refugees from East Timor have begun military training in Indonesia ready to fight their way back into their former homeland.