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Sporadic Shooting Reported as Australian Troops Secure UN Compound in East Timor


Australian peacekeepers began patrolling violence-wracked East Timor's capital and secured the United Nations compound, Friday. At least 15 people have been killed and dozens wounded following days of violence between the country's armed forces and disgruntled former soldiers.

By late Friday, two Australian armored personnel carriers were parked in front of the U.N. compound in Dili, which came under fire Thursday.

Nine police were killed and more than 20 people were wounded, including two U.N. officers.

Hundreds of residents have fled the capital. A mother named Iriana says she cannot sleep because she is so worried.

"This is really a terrible situation now in here," she said. "My family, oh everybody runs - we said oh we cannot handle it, we cannot just stay at home and waiting, we're afraid that the situation is getting worse."

Sporadic gunfire could still be heard late Friday, but the deployment of the first groups of Australian and Malaysian peacekeepers brought an uneasy calm.

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