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Rebel Leader Among East Timor Prison Escapees


Officials in East Timor say a rebel leader is among at least 56 inmates who have escaped from a jail in the capital, Dili.

Authorities say former East Timor military police officer Alfredo Reinado was among the inmates who broke out of Becora prison Wednesday. Reinado and 20 of his fellow militiamen were arrested last month in connection with violence that erupted in and around the capital in May.

He was charged with attempted murder and weapons offenses.

The street violence earlier this year started after then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri fired 600 disgruntled soldiers. That fighting spiraled into gang warfare that killed 30 people and sent 150,000 others fleeing their homes.

Reinado led a group of followers into the mountains near Dili who refused to give up their weapons until the prime minister resigned.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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