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Residents Wait for Help as Dili Burns

Despite the presence of hundreds of foreign troops working to restore order in East Timor, armed gangs are setting fire to the capital, and residents trapped in the city are desperately waiting for help. VOA Correspondent Nancy-Amelia Collins is there and has this report from the streets.

I'm standing here smoke is filling the air from fires which are raging across Dili. I'm in a church right across from where one of the fires has been set, and there are hundreds of people that have fled into this church looking for sanctuary and shelter. The priest here has told us they are in desperate need for food, for water, but more importantly for protection. The people here are wondering why are they not being protected. They know that the international peacekeepers are here, but they feel that they are not protecting them. They say that the situation is desperate.