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Timor-Leste president wounded in attack
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Timor Leste President Jose Ramos- Horta was shot and wounded Monday in the stomach by rebel gunmen in a predawn raid on his home in the capital Dili, but his wounds were classified as not "life threatening".

Also on Monday, the home of Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and his motorcade came under fire in apparently coordinated attacks, and Gusmao escaped unhurt.

The rebel soldiers attacked Ramos-Horta's house on the outskirts of the capital at around 7 a.m. local time (1200 GMT).

In the attack, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed and a Timor-Leste soldier was injured, Indonesia Antara news agency quoted military spokesman Domingos da Camara as saying.

After the incident, the president was brought to a helicopter airport operated by Australian military for treatment and later he was being flown to Darwin, a northern city in Australia, for further treatment.

The Royal Darwin Hospital said in a statement it was on high alert to receive Ramos-Horta.

Ramos-Horta, 58, won the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for the worldwide resistance campaign he spearheaded against Indonesian rule while in exile after 1975. He was elected president in last year's peaceful elections after serving as foreign minister and prime minister.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who escaped a separate attack at his residence, told a press briefing in the capital of Dili on Monday that stability was immediately restored in Timor-Leste after the pre-dawn attacks.

The situation has returned to normal and the country is under control, he said.

Abel Guterres, Timor-Leste's consul in Sydney, also said the situation in Dili and the surrounding countryside was calm.

"All security forces, military and police are on full alert and hopefully the situation will remain calm," he said.

Former Timor-Leste prime minister Mari Alkatiri condemned the attack on President Ramos-Horta, saying he was ready to cooperate with security agencies to restore peace and stability in his country.

Alkatiri, who was forced to resign after bloody conflicts between police and renegade soldiers in 2006, said he was deeply concerned and shocked by the fact that attackers could get access to the homes of Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to launch the ambush, Indonesian leading news website Detikcom.

The tense situation has prompted the U.N.-administered police in the tiny nation to raise the alert status to its highest.

Timor-Leste, the Asia's youngest nation, has been struggling to return to stability after plunging into chaos in 2006 after the government sacked about 600 soldiers.

The factional bloodshed two years ago killed 37 people and displaced 150,000 people, with international peacekeepers needed to restore order.

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

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2008)

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