The president of East Timor has assumed emergency powers after fresh looting erupted despite the presence of Australian peacekeepers.
Youths wielding machetes fought in the streets and set buildings and cars alight.
The fighting began after 600 soldiers were sacked last month for protesting against discrimination. Tens of thousands have fled the capital Dili.
Some of those who stayed battle to save their homes from the flames.
Some 1,300 foreign peacekeepers have been deployed and the Australian commander says they are reining in the gangs.
The Australian commander has rejected fears of a humanitarian disaster but tens of thousands require distribution of rice.
Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta appeals in the streets for an end to the violence.