Thousands of hungry residents looted warehouses today, hauling off sacks of rice, flour and cooking oil before international peacekeepers turned them back.
The looters were among thousands who had returned to East Timor's capital after days of hiding in nearby forests and mountains from the anti-independence militiamen who went on a shooting and burning rampage after residents voted last month to break away from Indonesia.
Looters attacked Indonesian government-owned warehouses, breaking down the doors and taking everything they could grab. A small squad of Indonesian soldiers guarding the complex was overwhelmed. Minutes later, about 30 armed Australian soldiers arrived and pulled the crowd back, blocking the entrances.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Kiki Syahnakri, commander of Indonesian forces in the territory, said the body of Sander Thoenes, a 30-year-old reporter for London's Financial Times, was found in the suburb of Becora, the scene of heavy activity by militias.
Thoenes was killed after six men in Indonesian police uniforms fired at him while he was traveling on a motorcycle, according to the vehicle's driver, Florindo Araujo.