DILI, East Timor (AP) _ A number of pro-Indonesian militiamen and members of their families were attacked when they tried to return to their homes in East Timor, a U.N. official said Friday.

Several people were injured in fights with their neighbors in recent days, said Paul Stromberg, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

He said the victims had all belonged to pro-Indonesian militias responsible for much of the destruction, rape and murder that gripped East Timor in September following the overwhelming vote for independence.

``This is the first known case of a community refusing to reintegrate several families,'' Stromberg said.

The militia members fled to Indonesian-controlled West Timor after international peacekeepers landed in East Timor on Sept. 20.

Stromberg said 51 militiamen had already been reintegrated into their former neighborhoods. Fourteen East Timorese serving with the Indonesian army also have returned home, he said.

East Timorese local leaders have repeatedly invited militiamen and their supporters to return to their homeland.

Meanwhile, the former editor-in-chief of East Timor's only former newspaper, Suara Timor, returned home Friday with the intention of restarting the daily.

Salvador Ximenes Soares said he had been personally invited by East Timorese leader Jose Alexandre ``Xanana'' Gusmao to come back and restart the Indonesian-language paper.

According to U.N. figures, 129,032 East Timorese refugees have so far returned from West Timor. About 120,000 others are still in West Timor or have moved to other parts of Indonesia.

In Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Red Redmond said the agency has seen a ``significant rise this week'' in the number of Timorese asking for its help to return home.

``During the last seven days, we've seen more repatriations of Timorese alleged to be former members of the militia,'' Redmond said.

UNHCR has put more security guards on duty at its transit center in Dili as tensions rise there, Redmond said. Young men have been hanging around the entrance trying to identify any Timorese entering or leaving.