Monday, June 05, 2006

East Timor parliament meets as violence continues

The East Timor parliament on Monday met for the first time since foreign troops arrived, as gang violence continued to plague the small nation.

Clashes were reported around the Comoro Bridge in the capital Dili, where houses were set on fire with petrol bombs.

Only 50 of East Timor's 87 Ministers of Parliament attended the meeting as many were unable to arrange secure transportation.

Parliament approved President Xanana Gusmao's declaration of emergency powers last week granting him full authority over the armed forces.

About 100,000 people have fled to makeshift refugee camps to escape violence that started after the sacking of army soldiers in a growing regional conflict between eastern and western parts of the country.

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