Violence Returns to East Timor

Violence broke out yet again in East Timor as international security forces tried to capture rebel leader Alfredo Reinado. Reinado, the former leader of military police was implicated in the violence last May and was detained but managed to escape from prison in August with some of his followers. The fighting took place in mountainous region (to the south of East Timorese capital Dili) that the rebels were using as a base. Dili was also rocked by violence when supporters of the rebel leader clashed with the international peacekeepers in Dili last night.

Tumbleweed in Asia, a long time East Timor resident currently out of the country writes about the latest round of violence in East Timor.

to watch Timor slide back once again into chaos has been like observing a piece of bean curd slide slowly down a slanted plate, inching downwards, slowed only by its wetness, and then suddenly last night, that piece of curd gained momentum and hit the bottom with impact, shattering into million pieces of useless fluffy curd.

Dili-gence, a Dili resident writes about his experience

At about 3:45am, I woke … extremely tired … then heard the unmistakable sound of gunshots. I heard about 5 to 10 over the next half hour, then it went quiet until the choppers fired up.

This morning, there was active trade of information by phone as a lot of expats heard gunfire and it certainly put the wind up the locals. The phone wires were probably running hot as many expats were trying to work out what was happening.

Rumors and uncertainty have fueled violence in the past. Tumbleweed is concerned about her contacts in East Timor

Dili was dead town apparently from what i hear… everyone's lying low, and of course the rumor circuit must be working overtime with so little access to good information. OZ media say 4 have been killed but who knows. i just know that it's hard to be sitting in my comfortable first world room when my friends are in Timor.

Australian forces have since then confirmed that four people were killed in the clashes with the rebels. Dili-gence has updates and advice for other Dili residents.

Good time to stock up on food if you are allowed out. It just might be a bit uncertain for a couple of days.

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