February 10, 2008 / 11:55 PM / 11 years ago

East Timor president wounded in rebel attack: military

DILI (Reuters) - Rebel soldiers attacked the home of East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta early on Monday and he has been wounded in the stomach by gunfire, a military spokesman said on Monday.

Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack and an East Timor soldier was also seriously wounded, military spokesman Domingos da Camara said.

The stomach wound appeared serious, neighbor Januario Freitas told Reuters.

Ramos-Horta was taken to a helipad operated by the Australian military and was being flown to Australia, said a relative who did not give his name.

Asia’s youngest nation has been struggling to claw its way back to stability after plunging into chaos in 2006 when the army tore apart on regional lines.

The factional bloodshed two years ago killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes, with foreign troops needed to restore order.

Reinado has led a revolt against the government and has been charged with murder during the 2006 factional violence.

Rebels loyal to Reinado fired on Australian troops patrolling near Dili earlier this month, an Australian commander said at the time.

Reporting by Tito Belo; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by David Fogarty

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