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Australia and New Zealand offer troops as Timor violence grows

Australia and New Zealand have said they are ready to send troops to East Timor if they were needed to help quell growing violence. Both countries said they had soldiers on standby to respond to any call for assistance after a shootout Tuesday between government forces and rebels in the latest outbreak of violence to the tiny island state. “We’ve prepositioned some military assets in northern Australia including naval vessels, aircraft and even some troops to enable a rapid response and to assist with evacuation or some other form of assistance if it’s required,” Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told parliament. Full Story

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