Subject: Unknown forces seeking to destabilize country - PM Alkatiri

East Timor: Unknown forces seeking to destabilize country - PM Alkatiri

Dili, Nov. 10 (Lusa) - Unidentified groups are seeking to destabilize East Timor to impede foreign investment and weaken the government, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Thursday.

Alkatiri, speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Xanana Gusmão, said he had discussed the situation with the president.

The prime minister appeared to refer to two incidents earlier this week in which attackers firebombed a police station in Baucau and a martial arts group threatened the headquarters of Dili's riot police unit, seeking revenge against an officer.

The incidents came ahead of an oil investment conference set for Dili next week and a broader business investment conference slated for the end of the month.

"I shared with the president the information we have about the attempt to create instability in the country by still unidentified groups that want to avoid or impede investments and weaken the government", Alkatiri said.

Gusmão, he added, had said he would personally deal with the martial arts groups, a source of frequent faction fighting and other violence in the past.

In June, the president brokered an agreement with 10 such groups to end violence.

As to the firebombing Monday in Baucau, which injured one officer, authorities have said they arrested two suspects and discovered abandoned firearms and a field radio near the targeted police station.

The two detained suspects have been identified as members of a recently legalized political party, UNDERTIM, linked to disaffected former pro-independence guerrillas.



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