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Australian-led peacekeepers hunt for rebels in East Timor

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The Associated Press reports that East Timor has extended a state of emergency imposed after the shooting. Gusmao asked parliament for the 10-day extension, saying it was "in the interests of the people," so they could, "live in peace and normalcy." Lawmakers agreed to the emergency order, which bans demonstrations, gives police extended powers, and imposes a nighttime curfew. A United Nations force has been in East Timor since a wave of street violence in mid-2006.

East Timor's neighbors, Australia, Japan, and Indonesia, have been increasingly concerned about the stability of the six-year-old nation. Civil war followed Portugal's abrupt decolonization in 1975 and caused a flood of refugees to cross the border into Indonesia, giving it the pretext to begin an invasion and a 24-year occupation. In 1999, East Timor voted to break from Indonesia in a UN-sponsored plebiscite, and the country has been under UN tutelage ever since.

In the wake of this week's attacks, Australia has pledged to bolster its military deployment and Japan has considered sending its coast guard personnel, reports Australia's The Age. That comes amid questions about the UN, the international military force, and East Timorese government's lapse in security, such as why a rebel leader and his gang were allowed to roam the country for months, reports The New York Times.

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