Subject: AFP: UN police deny firing in fatal Timor clash


Monday, December 18, 2006. 11:08pm (AEDT)

UN police deny firing in fatal Timor clash

United Nations police in East Timor say none of their officers opened fire during a clash between rival martial arts gangs in which a man was shot and killed on Sunday.

It says there has been no report from its national operations centre that a UN police officer fired during the fight.

New UN special envoy Atul Khare says four people have been arrested and the case is being investigated.

"Until the autopsy is conducted and the bullet is actually recovered, it is impossible to determine without doubt what type of firearm was used," he said.

Three other people, including a UN interpreter, were killed earlier this month in a resurgence of gang violence in the tiny nation.

East Timor was rocked in April and May by clashes between security force factions that quickly degenerated into street violence involving youth gangs.

At least 37 people died in the bloodshed, which prompted the deployment of 3,200 Australian-led peacekeepers to restore calm.

Their numbers have since been reduced to around 1,100, bolstered by the presence of about 1,000 UN police.

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