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Relative calm returns to East Timor

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Relative calm returns to East Timor


Relative calm is said to have returned to the streets of Dili in East Timor, a day after President Xanana Gusmao took full control of the army and security. Today he met the UN special envoy to the country, Ian Martin, who has been called on to assess the crisis.

At least 20 people have been killed, thousands displaced and dozens of homes burnt in violence that was sparked by the sacking of almost half the army. About 180 New Zealand soldiers have arrived to join Australian and Malaysian forces who have been carrying out patrols. Some residents who fled the violence have been crowding into a make-shift camp in a church compound, where they say they lack water. Observers say Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has added confusion by insisting that he and his government are still in charge of the army and security.
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