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Australia wants longterm peacekeeping force for East Timor

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Australia wants longterm peacekeeping force for East Timor

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Widespread looting continues in East Timor, despite the presence of hundreds of foreign peacekeepers.

One of the buildings targeted was a Food and Agricultural Organisation warehouse. Australian forces have also blocked off a main road near the capital, with reports that protesters and gangs were trying to reach the city centre. The trouble began last month when hundreds of striking soldiers were sacked. On Monday, a senior cabinet minister met with rebel troops to try to put a stop to the violence that has claimed at least 30 lives and displaced thousands. Australia has suggested establishing a long-term UN-backed security force in East Timor, which broke away from Indonesia in 1999. UN agencies have been delivering emergency supplies, including food, tents and blankets. Makeshift camps are full of fearful residents who have fled their homes.