Timor police hunt escaped prisoners

Jailbreak raises security concerns ahead of presidential election due in April.

    The jailbreak has raised security concerns as
    East Timor prepares for elections [Reuters]
    Another man who also escaped in the jailbreak was arrested shortly afterwards.
     
    The United Nations is heading a peacekeeping mission in Dili that began soon after the May violence.
     
    Last September, 57 inmates escaped from the prison, including renegade military leader Alfredo Reinado, blamed for some of the worst violence in May.
     
    He and most of the other escaped convicts remain fugitives.
     
    Gang warfare
     

    Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado remains a fugitive
    after escaping jail last year [Reuters]

    East Timor is due to hold presidential elections in April that some fear could spark more violence.
     
    The tiny nation won independence from Indonesia in 1999 in a referendum ballot.
     
    The country was thrust into chaos in April and May after Mari Alkatiri, the then-prime minister, dismissed 600 mutinous soldiers.
     
    Subsequent clashes on the streets between rival police and army factions then spilled over into widespread gang warfare, looting and arson.
     
    Alkatiri stepped down amid intense international pressure and was replaced by Nobel prize-winner Jose Ramos-Horta.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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