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East Timor beefs up security after shootings

ABC News - July 20, 2011

Police in East Timor have started a major security operation in Dili, following several shootings in the capital.

According to local media reports, the National Police will set up checkpoints and conduct an illegal weapons search in every suburb of the city. It comes after a Fatuhada woman and a Bidau youth were shot in separate attacks last week.

East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta has reportedly met with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to discuss the recent violence. The President told local media the shootings are by people who want to create instability within the community in exchange for money.

Nelson Belo, from Timorese NGO Fundasaun Mahhein, warned the comments could spark public panic. He told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program the President should not have commented until the all the facts were known.

"The President shouldn't make a comment based on his feelings, he should make a comment based on credible information from state institutions."

Representatives from the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste were unavailable for comment.