Subject: U.N. police to review anti-riot tactics in E.Timor

U.N. police to review anti-riot tactics in E.Timor

DILI, East Timor, March 10 (Reuters) - U.N. police in East Timor will reassess tactics used to quell a violent riot in the eastern town of Baucau last week, the worst the tiny territory has seen since Indonesia's military rule ended in 1999.

"We (police) are assessing the lessons learnt from the situation but what I can say is we will continue to support a policy of pro-active community policing. No one is above the law," Commissioner Luis Carrilho told Reuters on Saturday.

The violence erupted in East Timor's second largest city on Wednesday when stone-throwing demonstrators burned a mosque to the ground and attacked vehicles.

The head of the U.N. in East Timor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, announced on Friday that a team would be sent to investigate the violence.

Jordanian riot police fired tear gas to disperse the stone-throwing protesters near Baucau market who had also set fire to tyres and built barricades on the street. A restaurant was also looted and damaged.

According to a U.N. report, the Jordanians had arrested 16 people the previous day in an unrelated incident.

Weekly meetings between community leaders, youth groups and the U.N. in Baucau have been planned following the strife which the Timorese blamed on heavy-handed tactics by Jordanian riot police based in the town.

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, has been under U.N. administration since the territory voted to break away from 24 years of Indonesian rule on August 30, 1999.

The overwhelming vote for independence triggered a violent and bloody rampage by militia gangs backed by elements of the Indonesian military.

The U.N. estimates around 1,000 people were killed in the violence and almost a third of the 800,000-strong population herded across the border into Indonesian West Timor.

The fledgling territory is due to stage elections in August this year, which will mark its transition to full independence.

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