Gang violence erupts in East Timor

Clashes with machetes and knives in the capital kill one and wound 17.

    The foreign peacekeeping force in East Timor
    is expected to be scaled back in weeks

    The crisis, which has left 37 dead and driven 55,000 from their homes, began when Mari Alkatiri, the prime minister, fired a third of the armed forces.
     
    The move led to gun battles between police and army factions that spilled into gang warfare, looting and arson, and toppled the government in June.
     
    Calm largely returned with the arrival of more than 2,500 foreign peacekeepers and the installation of a new government, but there have been isolated cases of street violence in recent months.
     
    The peacekeeping force is supposed to be scaled down in the coming weeks.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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