Subject: Riot In West Timorese Refugee Camp Leaves 3 Dead-Agency

Associated Press April 7, 2000

Riot In West Timorese Refugee Camp Leaves 3 Dead-Agency

JAKARTA (AP)--Three people were killed and two others seriously injured when a riot broke out in a camp of East Timorese refugees in Indonesia's West Timor, the official Antara news agency reported Friday.

The riot happened Thursday in a camp in Tuapukan village, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) east of Kupang, the capital of Indonesia's East Nusatenggara province, Antara said.

It quoted chief of the local police Brig. Gen. Jusuf Sudradjat, as saying the riot probably started from a personal feud.

The riot was believed to have begun when a former soldier in East Timor became trigger-happy after losing money while gambling.

The situation suddenly got out of control when a few former members of the Indonesian army from Lospalos attacked those from Viqueque, after two persons - Guido Soares, 18, of Baucau and Jose Gomez of Lospalos were hit by gunshots.

Antara identified two of the dead victims as Melkianus Lilo, 24, a local villager, and Antonio Soares, a 60-year-old refugee from Baucau.

It neither described how the two were killed, nor specified whether Soares or Gomes was the third victim.

The Tuapukan refugee camp mainly accommodated former Indonesian servicemen of East Timorese origin and their families.

The local Indonesian military has announced that the security forces have embarked on an operation to seize firearms from former East Timorese servicemen in refugee camps, but some of them have refused to hand over their weapons.

More than 250,000 people were forced out of East Timor in September as violence broke out following the announcement of the overwhelming vote for independence from Indonesia in a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite.

U.N. officials say about 150,000 people from 200 camps have already returned to East Timor, which borders West Timor.

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