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DATE=9/26/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR / RUINED TOWNS (L) NUMBER=2-254343 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=JAKARTA INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: United Nations aid teams surveyed towns across East Timor on Sunday and found many of them to be deserted and in ruins. As Amy Bickers reports from Jakarta, the devastation is worse than they expected. TEXT: Under heavy guard from international peacekeepers, United Nations aid teams fanned out across East Timor Sunday, and found many towns empty and destroyed. The aid workers say some towns were nearly burned to the ground. Even the smallest villages had been burnt and looted. One U-N official says the findings are often extremely depressing and show that a tremendous amount of reconstruction is necessary. A U-N aerial survey of the region shows an empty, devastated landscape where many towns were decimated by pro-Indonesia supporters after the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia in an August referendum. The worst destruction is in the western part of the territory, where many of the anti-independence militiamen are stationed. In some towns, every home lies in ruins. One exception is Baucau, East Timor's second largest city, which officials say is in better than expected shape. They found little destruction, with one U-N official saying the town's plight was not as grave (serious) as had been anticipated and food supplies were adequate. However, some municipal buildings were demolished. Aid workers suspect retreating Indonesian troops are responsible. As elsewhere in the territory, water and power supplies have been cut. (SIGNED) NEB/AB/BK 26-Sep-1999 12:43 PM EDT (26-Sep-1999 1643 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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