Subject: Lusa: Two Australian policemen injured by rock-throwing mob in Dili

East Timor: Two Australian policemen injured by rock-throwing mob in Dili

Dili, Aug. 22 (Lusa) - Australian and Portuguese police fired live rounds and rubber bullets in the East Timorese capital Tuesday to disperse rival gangs of rock-throwing youths, who injured two Australian officers and badly damaged three patrol vehicles, a Portuguese officer said.

The clash in Dili's Comoro neighborhood occurred when a three- vehicle Australian police patrol tried to break up a rock battle between two groups of about 30 youths, but quickly became the targets themselves, GNR Capt. Gonçalo Carvalho told Lusa.

After coming under attack, the Australian police fired live rounds into the air and called in Portuguese GNR reinforcements who fired rubber bullets, dispersing the mob, Capt. Carvalho said.

Three attackers were detained and others appeared to have fled into a nearby camp sheltering thousands of people displaced in the spiral of communal violence that began in April.

Carvalho said two Australian officers were injured and their three vehicles "practically destroyed".

The international police blocked the road running through Comoro to Dili international airport because of the "very dangerous situation", Carvalho said.

Several such incidents and arson attacks have taken place in the capital in recent days.

SAS/JCS.

Lusa


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