[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Poll violence flares in E Timor
Rally for Fretilin party in Liquisa on 27 March
The Fretilin party said it did not begin the violence
Gangs linked to rival political parties have clashed in East Timor, leaving at least 20 people hurt, officials said.

The violence flared on Thursday in Viqueque, 220km (135 miles) from Dili, after a rally by presidential candidate and current PM Jose Ramos-Horta.

His supporters scuffled with rivals from the Fretilin party of ousted PM Mari Alkatiri, police said.

It is thought to be the first violence related to the presidential poll, due to be held on 9 April.

Rallies

Two of the injured were police officers, hospital officials said.

It was unclear what started the clash.

Fretilin spokesman Filomeno Aleixo told the Associated Press news agency his party did not begin the violence.

"Whoever was involved in this incident should be brought to justice," he said.

Eight candidates are undertaking rallies across the country's 13 districts until two days before the election, when there will be a blackout period.

They are seeking to replace incumbent President Xanana Gusmao, who is not standing again.

The presidential election is the first since the country's independence in 2002.

Factional fighting flared last year after Mr Alkatiri dismissed 600 soldiers, splitting the armed forces.

Thousands of international troops were deployed to curb the violence.


SEE ALSO
Campaigning begins in East Timor
23 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
E Timor ex-minister goes on trial
09 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia burdened by Pacific setbacks
05 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
East Timor clash leaves man dead
17 Dec 06 |  Asia-Pacific
E Timor ex-PM accused on unrest
17 Oct 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: East Timor
17 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific