Subject: AFP: 1killed, 2 injured in fresh E Timor violence 

Last Update: Wednesday, November 22, 2006. 10:37pm (AEDT)

One killed, two injured in fresh E Timor violence

One man has been killed and two others, including a policeman, injured during street violence in East Timor, Home Affairs Minister Alcino Barris says.

Mr Barris said that gang members and residents clashed in Maubisse, a town some 80 kilometres south of Dili, on Monday, leading to the death of one civilian.

"In Maubisse, several groups were suspected to trying to force residents to join the Colimau (2000) group, but residents rejected that and a brawl ensued, causing one dead and one injured," Mr Barris said.

"When police wanted to arrest them, they beat up a policeman and he is now in a critical condition at a hospital," the minister told journalists here.

Colimau 2000 was set up by former members of clandestine youth groups that were active during the Indonesian occupation, but many have accused it of engaging in criminal activity and violence.

Mr Barris said that the police knew the identities of the attackers but that they were waiting to coordinate with Australian forces before taking any action.

Australian soldiers have been deployed in East Timor, along with those from several other nations, to help the East Timorese government restore peace following unrest in April and May that left 37 people killed.

Mr Barris also said that security personnel have been deployed in Estado village, northwest of Maubisse, where armed members of Colimau 2000 attacked a local martial art school on November 15, leaving at least four people dead.

He said that security authorities have arrested eight people suspected of involvement in the attack.

"After deploying reserve police units there, the district police in coordination with the Australian force yesterday (Tuesday) arrested eight people and they are now under questioning," Mr Barris said.

"There are indications that they were involved in the acts of arson and manslaughter during the confrontation," he added.

Members of Colimau 2000 were accused of involvement in attacks in Atsabe in 2003, which left seven dead. Mass arrests followed but the courts later freed those detained.

Some 3,200 Australian peacekeepers were deployed in East Timor in May, but their number have since been reduced to 1,100 bolstered by about 1,000 UN police.


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