Locals clash with police over road destruction

Around 10 people were arrested and others injured in clashes between locals and riot police in Vietnam's Nghi Loca district on Wednesday morning, locals told RFA.

"There were about 1,000 riot policemen, policemen in uniform and plain clothes officers," a local told RFA on condition of anonymity. "About 10 people were arrested and others injured in clashes between locals and riot police."

Locals said the Nghe An provincial government sent police to Nghi Thuan commune to stop them preventing the destruction of the road connecting Khanh Thien hamlet to the N5 road. They say the road has been there for a long time but the government wants to destroy it in order to build an industrial park.

“The two sides were pushing each other." Nguyen Van Hien from Binh Thuan parish told RFA. "People opened the police barricades to get to the part of the road that was being demolished. Police used tear gas and the people ran away. The police arrested a few people and I don't know where they were taken."

Facebook live streams show locals removing the fence and clashing with police. One policeman was dragged away by protesters who punched and kicked him, while many of the locals were attacked and arrested. Riot police fired tear gas grenades while some locals fought back with petrol bombs.

Father Nguyen Dinh Thuc, who is from Binh Thuan but works as a pastor inf a nearby parish, said he saw a lot of policemen on his way home from morning service.

"People said that when they heard the road was closed they went to protest and were brutally beaten by riot police, officers in uniform and civilians. The police used tear gas, smoke bombs and light weapons," he said "Then the riot police entered the village and went into the homes of some families ...to beat people.They even went upstairs to beat people, even those in their sixties and seventies.. They beat them brutally and took away five people whose fates are unclear.”

The priest said police remained in the commune for hours after protesters dispersed and confiscated dozens of motorcycles, electric bikes and bicycles.

Some locals say although people were seriously injured no-one could leave the village to get medical help because police had blocked off the neighborhood.

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