Subject: AP: Rice looted in E Timor
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:46:00 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

September 15, 1998

Indonesia News Agency Reports Looting In E. Timor, E. Java JAKARTA (AP)--Hundreds of people have looted rice from a government-owned warehouse in East Timor, while police arrested 54 people for looting teakwood in Central Java, a report said Tuesday.

The official Antara news agency quoted Maj. Magatas Tambunan of the local police as saying his office was investigating the looting Monday night in Dili, East Timor capital, about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Jakarta.

Citing witnesses, he said the looters raided the warehouse because they could no longer afford to buy rice.

They forced the warehouse's gate and were able to cart away with about 1.5 tons of rice before policemen arrived to disperse them, he said.

Indonesia is now facing its worst economic crisis that led to sharp increase unemployment and food prices.

Sporadic lootings were reported in many parts of Indonesia in the past days.

In another report from East Java capital of Surabaya, Antara said police arrested 54 people accused of looting teakwood from a state-owned plantation in the regency of Ngawi.

In other developments in East Timor, Antara reported, 26 political inmates have ended a two-week-long hunger strike to demand freedom for jailed rebel chief Jose Alexandre Gusmao and other East Timorese political detainees.

The hunger strikers ended their action for an unspecified time while awaiting a response to their demands, Antara reported.

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