|East Timor||MILITIAS THREATEN TO KILL RELIGIOUS SHELTERING REFUGEES|
The militias have threatened to kill religious, including foreigners, if they do not allow them to remove the refugees from sanctuary in houses of the religious orders.|
The Jesuit Refugee Service reports that most of the men left in Dili are reportedly sheltering in the Don Bosco residence in Comoro. The militias have threatened to overrun the residence, where more than 2000 refugees are sheltering.
Steve Steele of the Catholic News Service said: "The entire area is under siege. Balide is burning... militia men were screaming... 'burn, burn'," he said. An attack on the Don Bosco residence was expected imminently and all the police patrolling outside had been recalled. "They're all alone now," Steele said, adding that the houses nearby were burning, and "the military is just letting them do it."
Pro-integration forces have also threatened to burn the Minor Seminary and the St Joseph High School in Dili, both Jesuit institutions where over 1000 displaced people were sheltered until Sunday. The police were asked for help but replied that they were busy with thousands of people staying in their compounds.
The Jesuit residence, where around 200 displaced people were staying, was shortly after attacked by militia members. "There was no burning or killing yet, but they intimidated the Jesuits and the refugees," sources said. "The pro-integration groups seem to be using the refugees as a kind of guarantee for their political bargaining, asking the refugees to go with them to unknown places." Some of the displaced people have gone to the forest to seek the protection of pro-independence fighters. Some Jesuits have been travelling to distribute foods and medicines to places outside Dili.
JRS 12:09pm 7/9/99