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Page last updated at 04:54 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 05:54 UK

E Timor police move on students

By Lucy Williamson
BBC News

East Timorese police - April 2008 file photo
East Timor's police have received training from foreign forces

Police in East Timor's capital, Dili, have fired tear gas into the grounds of the national university and arrested several students, reports say.

The students were demonstrating against plans by the parliament to spend $1m (500,000) on new cars for MPs.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that local police had fired rounds of tear gas at lines of peacefully protesting students inside the grounds of the university.

UN police were also part of the operation, beside the parliament.

Week of protests

The acting UN police chief, who had just arrived on the scene, said he had reports of students throwing rocks and could see broken glass on the ground.

Others who witnessed the protest denied there had been any provocation.

The police had been told to break up the demonstration at the campus because it had not been authorised.

The university sits just beside the national parliament building, and is considered a no-go area for demonstrations.

Several hundred more students were gathering at the official protest site - some distance away from the parliament.

This is day one of a week of protests planned by students in East Timor.

Opposition has been growing recently in response to government spending plans and widespread allegations of corruption.



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