Subject: LUSA: Military chief to answer questions on May 25 massacre of police

27-07-2006 11:35:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8207712 Temas:

East Timor: Military chief to answer questions on May 25 massacre of police

Dili, July 27 (Lusa) - The chief of staff of East Timor's armed forces will participate in an inquiry opened by the Attorney General's office into the bloodiest incident in the country's recent wave of violence, military and judicial sources said Thursday.

The sources, who asked to remain unidentified, told Lusa Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak had informed the Attorney General's office that he would reply to its request after the completion of an ongoing military inquiry into the incident, the killing of 10 unarmed police by soldiers in Dili on May 25.

Matan Ruak received five written questions on the incident from the Attorney General's office Wednesday, the sources said.

Contacted by Lusa, the armed forces chief declined to comment.

The judicial source said the Attorney General's office was conducting "several investigations" into clashes between rival security force factions between April 28-May 25 that triggered a weeks-long spiral of communal gang violence in Dili that killed nearly 40 people and displaced more than 130,000.

The United Nations, at Dili's request, is also conducting an investigation.

The turmoil led to the dispatch of an international peacekeeping force and the resignation on June 26 of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who is under investigation on allegations of having armed political hit teams.

On May 25, according to a Portuguese UN police officer who survived the incident, three "out of control" Timorese soldiers opened fire on a column of unarmed Timorese police who had surrendered to UN officers, killing 10 and wounding 28, including two UN policemen.

In another development, Timorese authorities have begun questioning dissident army Maj. Alfredo Reinado, who was detained Tuesday for illegal possession of weapons.

Maj. Reinado, who broke with the army in early May in opposition to Alkatiri's military crackdown against sacked soldiers protesting alleged regional discrimination, was found with an arms cache by Portuguese police one day after the expiration of a two-month weapons amnesty declared by President Xanana Gusmão.



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