Subject: LUSA: Clashing Youths Burn 30 Houses, Cars Near Viqueque

East Timor: Clashing Youths Burn 30 Houses, Cars Near Viqueque 12 Mar-22:07

East Timor's United Nations authorities rushed police reinforcements Monday to the town of Boromatan, after feuding youth groups burned down at least 30 dwellings and several cars.

Beyond the widespread destruction by arson, there were no immediate reports of casualties or arrests in the rampage by two rival gangs.

UN police officials said the cause of the violence was not entirely clear, but UNTAET spokeswoman Barbara Reis told reporters in Dili that the rampage Monday in Viqueque district appeared to have been triggered by the killing of a youth Sunday night.

UN police reinforcements - Portuguese Republican National Guards from Dili and Jordanian police from Baucau, had been rushed to the Viqueque area, some 200 kms southeast of the territory's capital, officials said.

UN and other international aid workers, including a group of Portuguese teachers in Viqueque, had been gathered under police protection at the local administration building as "a precautionary measure".

The commander of UN police forces, Costa e Sousa of Portugal, had also traveled to Viqueque, officials said.

Spokeswoman Reis said the rampage in Boromatan Monday afternoon appeared to have been sparked when youths from the nearby village of Maka Didki sought revenge for the death Sunday night of one of their friends.

SAS -Lusa-

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