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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 15:43 GMT
East Timor clash leaves man dead
New Zealand troops on guard in East Timor
International peacekeepers were sent to East Timor earlier this year
A young man has been killed and two others injured during clashes between rival gangs in East Timor's capital, Dili, United Nations police say.

The dead man's brother told journalists he had seen a UN police officer fire the bullet that killed him.

But a UN police spokeswoman said there were no police officers present at the time and the victim had been shot by a rival gang member.

More than 12 people have been killed in sporadic violence in recent weeks.

Widespread factional fighting broke out in April after then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri dismissed 600 soldiers - half of East Timor's tiny army.

Rival gangs

The 24-year-old man was shot dead as armed gangs clashed in the area around Dili's main mosque, witnesses said.

"We know a firearm was seen in the crowd," UN police spokeswoman Monica Rodrigues told AP news agency, adding: "The firearm was used to shoot at rival gang members."

The United Nations sent security forces to East Timor earlier this year to try to restore calm after weeks of rioting.

Thousands of people fled their homes as street battles broke out between rebel soldiers and those loyal to the government.

Mr Alkatiri stepped down as prime minister in June, under intense pressure both at home and abroad.

Killings continue in East Timor
27 Oct 06 |  Asia-Pacific
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17 Oct 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Downer concern at E Timor force
05 Sep 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: East Timor
17 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

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