JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian soldiers opened fire Tuesday on a funeral procession of youths protesting Indonesia's rule over East Timor, and a U.S. journalist, severely beaten by the troops, said it appeared that dozens of people were killed.
Portugal condemned what it called "this new act of extreme brutality" in the former Portuguese colony, where the Fretilin armed independence movement has been operating since the territory was annexed by Indonesia in 1976.
The Portuguese news agency Lusa quoted a Roman Catholic priest there as saying troops shot and killed more than 50 people and wounded dozens of others.
Alan Nairn, a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, said soldiers kept firing at the crowd after many people were already dead or wounded.
"Looking down the road, I saw body after body, and the soldiers kept firing at those who were still standing," Nairn said from his hospital room bed in Guam, where he was recovering from the beating by the troops.
East Timor, at the eastern end of the vast Indonesian archipelago, was annexed by Jakarta shortly after Portugal quit the colony it had ruled for three centuries.