Subject: LUSA: No link yet between arrests at gov't HQ and terror alert, says PM

East Timor: No link yet between arrests at gov't HQ and terror alert, says PM

Dili, May 12 (Lusa) - Police in East Timor have yet to connect the attempt to enter Dili's government buildings Tuesday by three men, one of whom was armed, and an Australian warning over a possible terrorist attack at the same location on the same day, says Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

"The seizure of the weapon and the three arrests are under police investigation. There are still no clear facts to say there is a connection between the detentions and the warning" on a terror attack, said Alkatiri.

The three men, all members of a dissident former guerilla unit that fought occupying Indonesian forces during the 1990s, were apprehended as they tried to enter the Government Palace through a security gate.

Initial reports said the weapon confiscated by police was homemade, but Alkatiri said the gun was an old seven-shot pistol that was fully loaded.

"I don't want to link this to the (terrorist) alert, but something illegal happened".

The Timorese leader said he discussed the Dili incident and its possible negative impact on the country's economy with President Xanana Gusmão.

Alkatiri also revealed he initially found out about Monday's warning to Australian citizens over a possible bombing or attack in Dili through the media.

By the time Canberra's ambassador in Dili, Margaret Twomey, informed him of the terror warning, "everybody already knew" about the alert, said Alkatiri, adding that this state of affairs had "concerned him a little".

EL/CJB.

Lusa

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