Gunmen wound East Timor president, fire on car carrying prime minister, PM says

Eds: RELEADS with prime minister saying attacks were coup attempt.

AP Photo EKW102, EKW101, EKW105, EKW104


Associated Press Writer

DILI, East Timor (AP) -- Rebel soldiers shot and wounded East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta and opened fire on the prime minister Monday as part of a failed coup in the recently independent nation, officials said.

Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace laureate, was wounded in the stomach but in stable condition, while Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped the attack on his motorcade unhurt.

Army spokesman Maj. Domingos da Camara said notorious rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack against the home of Ramos-Horta, while one of the president's guards also died.

"I consider this incident a coup attempt against the state by Reinado and it failed," Gusmao told reporters. "This government will guarantee security and development will continue."

Monday's violence plunged the tiny country into fresh uncertainty after a flare-up in violence in 2006 killed 37 people, displaced more than 150,000 others and led to the collapse of the government. Security in the country has since been overseen by the United Nations.