Timor-Leste memorial service mourns victims of 1991 massacre

A memorial service was held in Timor-Leste on Sunday to mourn victims of a massacre in 1991 when the country formerly known as East Timor was under Indonesian rule.

Indonesia's security forces indiscriminately opened fire on pro-independence protesters, mostly young people, who were holding a rally on November 12, 1991.
More than 200 people are said to have been killed.

During the memorial service in the capital Dili, relatives of the victims and survivors of the crackdown laid flowers at the scene.

A British journalist filmed the massacre, making it known to the international community and giving momentum to Timor-Leste's independence in 2002.

Among the memorial service participants was a man who took part in the rally in 1991 and lost his younger brother there.

The man said the security forces shot unarmed protesters as if they were "animals." He added that 32 years have passed for him without his brother.

Some participants showed their solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as Timor-Leste gained independence after a fierce armed struggle which cost many lives.

A massacre survivor said people in Timor-Leste understand the pain of those facing difficulties as his country also lost many innocent people. He said he wants to act in solidarity with victims living under occupation.