Incident Summary:

05/16/1999: In Dili, East Timor, Indonesia, alleged members of the pro-Indonesia militia, Aitarak Militia, led by Eurico Guterres, set fire to three houses and fired several shots near a restaurant where United Nations personnel were dining.




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity United Nations
Specific Description United Nations officials working in Dili
Nationality of Target Multinational
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Houses of people living in Dili
Nationality of Target Indonesia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Weapon Details
The attackers set fire to 3 houses and fired guns during the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Following the attack, the Indonesian Army had to escort the United Nations, Amnesty International and other international diplomats back to their hotels. The Aitarak militia, led by Eurico Guterres, was a pro-Indonesia militia that opposed independent state status for East Timor. The possibility and degree of state involvement with these types of pro-Indonesia/anti-independence incidents is unknown. The pro-Indonesian militias in East Timor during this time were independent with the tacit support of the government.  While the Indonesian government did not necessarily train or regularly supply these militias, they did not intercede in any of their operations.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Aitarak Militia (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
“UN officials escorted by soldiers after Dili shooting,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 18, 1999.