|East Timor||UN INVESTIGATES REPORT OF EAST TIMOR CHURCH MASSACRE|
The United Nations yesterday said it was investigating reports that 100 people had been massacred by militias in an East Timorese church.
``We have unconfirmed reports that there was a large number of people killed, we heard up to 100 people killed around the church in Suai, but we have not been able to confirm that, we will keep working on it,'' UN spokesman David Wimhurst told Reuters.
East Timorese Maria Bernardino said she had been told by a friend who had fled Dili for Kupang, the capital of West Timor, that militias Tuesday attacked a church in Suai, 95 km (60 miles) south of Dili, killing an estimated 40 people.
``The last time he looked there were about 40 people on the floor, he assumed they were dead. There was blood everywhere, people had been macheted and shot,'' Bernardino told Reuters.
``He saw a priest on his knees begging and screaming for people's lives, saying 'please have mercy','' she said.
An Australian Catholic brother, who fled Dili Tuesday, told Australian radio Wednesday that an East Timorese child was cut to pieces by militias on the streets of Dili.
The Catholic brother, who asked not to be named, said a local U.N. security officer witnessed the child's murder, which occurred when East Timorese were fleeing to the safety of the U.N. compound in Dili.
``The child was actually being cut up. He was chopped up and parts of his body were actually thrown about in Dili outside the UNAMET compound,'' he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio from Kupang in West Timor.
Reuters 11:09am 9/9/99