Subject: LUSA: Police officer seriously injured in clash with villagers

18-11-2002 20:13:00. Notícia nº 4353755…

East Timor: Police officer seriously injured in clash with villagers

Dili, Nov 18 (Lusa) - Violent clashes Monday between security forces and residents near East Timor's second city, Baucau, left two people injured, a police source said.

The violence erupted after about 20 inhabitants of Uailili, a village outside Baucau, created a road block and demanded cash from motorists wishing to pass, explained the source.

One of the law enforcement officers sent to clear the highway was slashed with a machete on the head and is in a "very serious" condition in Baucau hospital, said the police spokesman.

The policeman's attacker was shot by fellow officers and arrested soon after the clashes ended, said the source.

Monday's skirmishes follow a series of attacks against Timorese police in recent days. An attack on the Liquiça police station near Dili Friday left two officers injured and a civilian with gunshot wounds, after police responded to an assault that left four of their vehicles damaged.

Six people were arrested after the Liquiça violence, security officials told Lusa Monday.

Meanwhile, a team comprising representatives of the Dili government, the UN and the international donor community have begun a 10-day mission to analyze deficiencies in Timor's forces of law and order.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told the team it was crucial that the new state's police force was "efficient and professional". It was paramount too that police training receives continuing support, added Alkatiri.

ASP/CJB -Lusa-

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