Subject: AP: East Timor probing grenade blast close to Australian embassy

Friday October 5, 2007 MYT 9:49:22 PM

East Timor probing grenade blast close to Australian embassy

DILI, East Timor (AP): Authorities in East Timor on Friday were investigating a suspected grenade blast close to the Australian Embassy, the United Nations said.

The explosion occurred late Thursday in the grounds of a house used by the Australian military's training department in East Timor, which is adjacent to the Australian Embassy in the capital, Dili, the world body said in a statement.

There were no injuries, and the only damage occurred to windows in the military training building, the statement said.

"We've launched a joint investigation with the United Nations police and we're taking the lead on this,'' the commander of Australian forces in East Timor, Brig. John Hutcheson told Sky News.

East Timor is still recovering from a spasm of violence last year that toppled the government and led to the deployment of an Australian led peacekeeping force in the tiny country, which broke free from Indonesian rule in 1999.

Gang fights and arson are common and foreign peacekeepers are often targeted, though normally only with stones, bows and arrows and other crude weapons.

There are around 1,000 international forces in the country, most of them Australian.

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