Subject: ABC: Five police arrested over E Timor arson attacks

ABC News

Five police arrested over E Timor arson attacks

The United Nations says authorities in East Timor have arrested five national police officers and two civilians over suspected involvement in arson attacks in the east during anti-government protests.

The national police's (PNTL) rapid intervention unit arrested seven people in Watolari and Viqueque at the weekend in connection with the recent attacks, a statement from the United Nations mission (UNMIT) said.

"Three PNTL officers were arrested on Saturday, and a further four people - two PNTL officers and two civilians - were arrested on Sunday," it said.

All seven have been transferred to East Timor's second city Baucau where they will face trial.

Anti-government protests, believed to be stoked by members and supporters of the former ruling Fretilin party, followed the establishment last month of the new government by a coalition of parties that excluded Fretilin.

Fretilin won most of the votes in the June 30 legislative elections but a coalition of parties that controls a majority of the 65 seats in parliament was asked to form a government by President Jose Ramos-Horta.


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