Subject: AFP: Violence kills two in East Timor

Agence France Presse -- English

January 21, 2007 Sunday 12:39 PM GMT

Violence kills two in East Timor

DILI, Jan 21 2007

Two youths were hacked to death in Dili Sunday as violence involving disciples from rival martial art schools erupted, witnesses said.

The youths, one of whom was a member of the national police, were killed as they walked home from church in the East Timor capital, a witness said.

"They were attacked while on their way home. One youth died on the spot and slumped on the road," said witness Crispin Lopez.

"The police member was slashed in the neck and died as he attempted to run home, while the other was seriously wounded in an attack at his home."

A third youth suffered from slash wounds in a separate attack not far away, he added. Violence was also reported near the UN mission in Caicoli.

A mob attacked the house of a martial art trainer and injured four youths but the rapid intervention of a Portuguese police unit prevented more violence. Shots were fired into the air, witnesses said.

Stone-throwing between youths from rival groups was also reported in the Kolmera commercial district, but a strong UN police presence quickly put an end to the violence, they added.

An outbreak of violence in Dili in May 2006 saw 37 killed when clashes between security force factions degenerated into street violence, pitting members of street gangs and rival martial art schools against eachother.

More people have since been killed in sporadic violence in Dili and surrounding districts.

The violence prompted the fledgling nation to seek the deployment of foreign peacekeepers and UN police, and the installation of a new government in July headed by Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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