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Timor president regains consciousness

©

Latest update : 2008-02-21

East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta (file photo) has regained consciousness and spoken to family members after being in an induced coma since he was shot in an assassination attempt 10 days ago.

SYDNEY, Feb 21 (Reuters) - East Timor President Jose
Ramos-Horta has regained consciousness from a drug-induced coma
since being shot 10 days ago in an assassination attempt and is
talking to his family in an Australian hospital.
 

"Doctors are pleased with his progress," a spokeswoman for
Royal Darwin Hospital told Reuters on Thursday.
 

Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta was shot and critically wounded
at his home in Dili last week in an attack by rebel soldiers.
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped injury in another shooting
the same day.
 

Both attacks are believed to have been carried out by
followers of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was killed
during the attack on Ramos-Horta.
 

Ramos-Horta, 58, was shot twice in the back and chest. He
was put on life support, placed in a drug-induced coma and
airlifted to Darwin where he underwent a series of operations.
 

Darwin hospital staff could not say whether Ramos-Horta
would require further surgery or how long he would remain in
hospital.
 

Arrest warrants have been issued against 17 people
suspected of being involved in the attack while East Timor's
police and international troops have been hunting for rebels
hiding in hills near Dili. Around 200 fast reaction troops from
Australia and more police were sent to the capital Dili after
the attacks.
 

Reinado deserted the army in May 2006 to join about 600
former soldiers sacked earlier that year amid claims they were
discriminated against because they were from the western part
of East Timor. Fighting killed 37 people, drove 150,000 from
their homes and foreign troops were sent to restore order.
 

East Timor gained full independence from Indonesia in 2002
after a U.N.-sponsored vote in 1999 marred by violence.
Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975 and many
thousands of East Timorese died during the brutal occupation
that followed. 

Date created : 2008-02-21

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