|East Timor||CARITAS URGES PEACE TROOPS FOR EAST TIMOR|
Upon returning from Dili, Fr John Herd of Caritas Australia urged the international community to send peace troops to the strife-torn province to quell the escalating violence.
Fr Herd told the ABC that last week there were 50,000 refugees in East Timor and that count is rising.
He said an escalation of violence over recent days has caused thousands more from Dili to seek refuge in the mountains.
"I've heard stories of people being shot, machetes being used, people certainly being in fear and wondering when the next attack is coming," he said.
"I suppose there's a fear that it's becoming systematic, that it's not just an isolated incident but seems as though there might be some policy that's being applied."
Caritas Australia is providing food relief to East Timor and sent a shipment of food to Dili last Wednesday. Caritas sustains that thousands of farmers have been forced to abandon their fields and crops, with many fleeing to the mountains to escape the violence. It has asked the Australian Government to support an international peace keeping force to provide security to prevent hunger in the territory.
Zenit 1:32pm 6/9/99