Subject: RT: Man killed by arrow in East Timor gang fighting

Man killed by arrow in East Timor gang fighting

DILI, Nov 13 (Reuters) - A man died after an arrow pierced his heart during gang fighting in districts near East Timor's capital, a hospital official said on Tuesday.

The former Portuguese colony was plunged into chaos last year after the sacking of 600 rebellious soldiers triggered violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes.

Foreign troops had to be brought in to restore order and security has improved, although sporadic violence, vandalism and arson persist, with an unemployment rate of around 50 percent helping fan a gang culture among bored youths.

"A man died during gang or martial arts fighting in Bebonuk and Fatuhada Dili, we could not help him because he got an arrow in his heart," said Americo da Costa, an official at Dili hospital.

Gang fights often involve clashes between youths armed with machetes and poisonous steel darts.

Indonesia annexed East Timor in 1975 after long-time colonial power Portugal had set it free.

East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a violence-marred referendum in 1999. It became fully independent in 2002 after a period of U.N. administration.

(Reporting by Tito Belo, writing by Ed Davies, editing by John Chalmers)

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