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City (pop., 2004 est.: city, 51,700; urban area, 151,026), capital of East Timor. It lies on the northern coast of Timor Island on Ombai Strait. Dili has been the capital, chief port, and commercial centre of the eastern half of Timor since it was settled by the Portuguese about 1520. During World War II it was occupied by Japan. East Timor was under Portuguese rule until 1975, after which it was designated a province of Indonesia. Dili suffered major damage by Indonesian military militias after East Timor voted for independence in 1999. The city became the capital of newly sovereign East Timor in 2002.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Dili, visit Britannica.com.