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22 April 2024

East Timor president shot in rebel attack, airlifted to Australia

By Agencies


A plane departed East Timor on Monday carrying shot and wounded President Jose Ramos-Horta, who will receive medical treatment in Australia, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

The plane took off at about 3:20 pm (0620 GMT), the correspondent said.

Ramos-Horta was in "very serious but stable" condition, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said before his departure, after speaking to East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and his Australian-born wife Kirsty Sword Gusmao.

Rudd said East Timor's government had accepted Canberra's offer to send Ramos-Horta to Australia for medical treatment.

"Australia has already indicated we will do whatever is necessary to provide further medical assistance including offering medical evacuation to Darwin.

"That offer has been extended and I am advised, in the last quarter hour or so, has been activated," Rudd told reporters outside parliament in Canberra. (AFP)