Subject: AP: UN Sending Team To Investigate W Timor Murders

Friday, October 27 5:28 PM SGT

UN Sending Team To Investigate W Timor Murders

DILI, East Timor (AP)--The U.N. Security Council will dispatch a special team to East Timor next month to investigate the killings of three U.N. foreign aid workers in neighboring Indonesia, a top official said Friday.

East Timor's U.N. administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello said the team would arrive in the capital Dili Nov. 11.

He said investigators may try to travel to the border town of Atambua in West Timor, where an anti-independence militia mob murdered three workers from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees on Sept. 6. It wasn't yet clear if Indonesia's government would grant them permission.

Officials with Indonesia's foreign affairs department weren't immediately available for comment.

In the past the Indonesian government has blocked efforts by the United Nations to send a team to West Timor, saying it should be allowed to investigate the killings itself.

Indonesian police in Atambua have recently arrested six people, suspected of being involved in the murders.

The deaths of the three U.N. officials led to the world body to evacuate its staff from West Timor. Aid agencies have refused to return to the region until the militias are brought under control.

More than 120,000 East Timorese refugees are still living in camps in the West Timor. Many of them have been prevented from returning home by the same militias that laid waste to much of East Timor last year after its people overwhelmingly voted for independence in a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

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