Subject: LUSA: Defense force recruits attack traffic police in Dili, two injured

08-11-2002 12:26:00. Notícia nº 4316361

East Timor: Defense force recruits attack traffic police in Dili, two injured

Dili, Nov 8 (Lusa) - Defense force recruits attacked traffic police in the East Timorese capital Friday, in an apparent act of revenge, injuring at least two officers.

Police and bystanders at the melee around the central market told Lusa a group of uniformed recruits, using knives, had attacked traffic police in the zone until calm was restored by senior officers, accompanied by Portuguese UN peacekeepers.

Two injured police, one seriously wounded, were admitted to hospital, a doctor told Lusa.

An unconfirmed report indicated some of the defense force recruits may have used bayonets.

Police Commander Paulo Martins, who went to the zone to help restore order, said the cause of the fighting was unclear.

But it could be a "revenge attack", he said, linked to the arrest by police of two defense force members for public disorder last week.

The defense force chief, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, who also rushed to the market zone, promised an investigation and "serious" punitive measures, including possible expulsion from the force.

ASP/SAS -Lusa-

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