UN withdraws West Timor staff


Jakarta - The UN pulled all its staff out of the Indonesian province of West Timor yesterday after pro-Jakarta gangs butchered three UN workers, provoking strong international anger. UN officials said that over the past two days nearly 240 UN staff and their families had either left for East Timor overland or had flown to the resort island of Bali.

Authorities said they had arrested 15 people over the murders of the three workers and were hunting more suspects. But the Indonesian military, strongly linked to the violence that has plagued both West and East Timor over the past year, offered little hope that the pro-Jakarta gangs involved would be brought under control soon.