|Major General Lere Anan Timur|
Speaking on national television on Tuesday night, Major General Lere Anan Timur said unarmed troops had been ordered on to the streets to calm tensions in the wake of last weekend's violence.
President Jose Ramos-Horta urged calm after dozens of protesters in Dili and the eastern city of Viqueque threw stones, set vehicles and tyres on fire and attacked several homes.
The violence followed elections in which former pro-independence guerilla leader Xanana Gusmao's CNRT party was returned to power after forming a coalition with minor parties. The deal excludes the country's biggest opposition party, Fretilin.
The troop deployment was authorised by the government, General Timur said.
"Because of the situation currently taking pace in the country, in particular in Dili, the government has authorised the military to act, to control the situation," he said.
"And today I have immediately ordered the military police to deploy in the field," he said.
"They have been directed that if they come face to face with violence, they will return to their headquarters to await new orders from me."
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