Four people were killed and Timor Leste rebel leader Alfredo Reinado escaped in an Australian-led operation to catch him on Sunday, according to reports reaching here.
Four supporters of Reinado were killed in clashes between international forces and the former army major's gang in Timor Leste's town of Same, said Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao in Dili on Sunday.
Gusmao said the operation to capture Reinado continues.
An Australian Defense Department spokesman in Canberra has confirmed the deaths, adding no Australians have been killed or wounded.
He told reporters here that "We have not at this stage apprehended him (Reinado) but we will continue operations until he is apprehended."
Reinado has been on the run since he escaped from jail in Timor Leste's capital of Dili last August.