Vietnamese arrest seven over 'terrorist' bomb at police post

World | Agence France-Presse 6 Jul 2018

Seven people have been arrested in Vietnam, including three on terrorism charges, for bombing a police station in Ho Chi Minh City last month in an attack that injured three people.

The bomb was planted on a motorcycle and blew out the glass facade of the building near the site of violent protests over a proposed economic law days before.

Two officers and a cook were injured in the explosion.

Officials yesterday did not make a direct connection to the protests and said only that it was a carefully orchestrated attack by alleged terrorists connected to a "foreign" group.

"The organization of the attack . . . was with support from outside forces," HCMC Police Colonel Nguyen Sy Quang said, without naming the alleged group.

"They had careful preparation and had tested explosives many times," he added.

Three of the men face terrorism charges, while another four face charges of providing explosives. At least three others are being sought in connection with the attack.

Authorities also seized dozens of detonators and 10 kilograms of explosives that the group allegedly planned to use for further attacks.

The bomb attack came just 10 days after huge - and rare - rallies erupted in several cities across Vietnam last month where thousands gathered to protest against a draft law on special economic zones that would grant investors 99-year leases.

The proposed law sparked fears that China would take over the investment zones, igniting popular and deep-seated resentment against Vietnam's powerhouse communist neighbor.

China was not named in the draft law, and the government proposed reducing leases, but it was not enough to quell the anger.

Hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police manned public parks and roads in Ho Chi Minh City the weekend after the rallies to block planned follow-up protests.

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