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Seven arrested in attack on UN convoy in Timor-Leste

Seven arrested in attack on UN convoy in Timor-Leste

Seven people have been arrested in connection with last week’s attack on a United Nations convoy in Timor-Leste during post-election violence in the small South-East Asian country, UN Police (UNPOL) reported today.

Meanwhile, the security situation over the past 24 hours remained tense, particularly in Viqueque, Baucau and Lautem districts to the east of Dili, the capital, although there were no reports of major incidents in the country, which the UN helped shepherd to independence from Indonesia in 2002.

UN agencies have been providing security and logistical support to the Government to speed delivery of urgently needed food and resources to areas affected by the unrest, including numerous cases of arson and rock throwing in which nearly 400 houses were burned or damaged and at least 4,000 people driven from their homes.

Yesterday in Naiboruk village, Watolari and Watocarbo subdistricts, Government humanitarian aid was distributed to schools and orphanages, UNPol said.

The attack on the UN convoy near Fatumaka on Friday involved stone throwing and reported gunshots and one UNPol vehicle was set ablaze, but there were no injuries.

UNPol, national police and the International Stabilization Force (ISF) remain fully deployed and on alert in case of any further disturbances. The latest unrest erupted last week after the announcement of a new government following the June elections, which failed to produce a single outright winner.

The UN enhanced its peacekeeping and policing roles in Timor-Leste after violence attributed to differences between eastern and western regions broke out in April and May last year, killing at least 37 people and forcing 155,000 others, 15 per cent of the population, to flee their homes.