Subject: Lusa: Radicals Facedown Police at Occupied Building

East Timor: Radicals Facedown Police at Occupied Building 10 Jul-11:28

Militants of East Timor's newest political party have seized a building destined to serve as a police station in the eastern district of Viqueque, claiming it as their headquarters.

UN police spokesman Antero Lopes told Lusa in Dili Monday that officers had failed to persuade the occupiers, who seized the empty installations under repair in the town of Ossu Friday, to leave peacefully.

The police, he added, had asked that the UN transition administration deal with the problem, rather than forcing the occupiers out and risking an "escalation of the conflict."

The militants, who were not creating "disturbances" or damaging the building, according to Lopes, claimed to represent the leftist Popular Defense Committee - Democratic Republic of East Timor, a radical group formed last November.

The party, among other things, defends the restoration of the short-lived "people's democracy" declared in 1975 by the nationalist Fretilin party, rather than the declaration of a new independent state following a UN-supervised transition.

The group has been linked to several militant actions and protests in Dili and other parts of the territory, challenging the authority of the UN administration and of the National Council of Timorese Resistance.

SAS -Lusa-


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