The raising of the OZ travel warning advisory to level 5 probably confused a lot of people. No guns, no restrictions on movement during the day etc. etc. It was probably based on the situation with Major Alfredo and was probably setting things up for a resolution.
At a dinner last night, a couple of calls came in to other diners suggesting that steps were underway to get Alfredo but that he had escaped. Fifteen minutes later, one caller apologised and said it was just rumour. I can’t believe he escaped but if the rumour spreads amongst the locals …
At about 3:45am, I woke … extremely tired … then heard the unmistakable sound of gunshots. I heard about 5 to 10 over the next half hour, then it went quiet until the choppers fired up.
This morning, there was active trade of information by phone as a lot of expats heard gunfire and it certainly put the wind up the locals. The phone wires were probably running hot as many expats were trying to work out what was happening.
Radio Australia report that the OZ troops did make a move last night and supposedly have taken control of Same but no other details are available. I went to do shopping this morning and things were OK but there were more “observers” than normal – locals on watch for anything out of the ordinary.
A friend confirmed that some locals believe Reinado has escaped and is going to attack Dili. I would think this is not possible. But the rumour mill is running again.
The OZ media report that OZ special forces have been sent here. “The Age” and “All Headline News” report it as 100 SAS troops in 4 planes. I saw 2 Hercules transport planes depart on Saturday afternoon.
One acquaintance reported a lot of activity in the Bairo Pite area and I understand the gunshots I heard were rubber bullets and other stuff that the GNR (ie riot police) use.
Another friend CM reported gunfire from the Becora area and many locals yelling out “Alfredo, Alfredo” as if he was coming in right now. There were 2 deaths yesterday morning in Becora and it is quite possible that this morning’s events were payback which required more shots from security forces.
I have heard no evidence that any of Reinado’s group or supporters were involved in the firing of any weapon in and around Dili.
A number of expats have been requested by employers to stay indoors today with doors locked.
I expect official information to be coming out soon on the Same situation. If only because locals will be phoning friends and relatives here in Dili with a sketchy view of what is going on and potentially feeding the rumour mill.
Postscript : The above commentary is how it tends to go here. You piece it together from radio, internet, official warning messages and information from others who are located all over town. You compare the number of gunshots you hear etc. etc. The you ring someone else and they are completely unaware of any problem at all.