Vietnamese military officers carry the coffin of a border guard shot by illegal Chinese in Quang Ninh last Friday.
Vietnamese border police arrested 21 illegal Chinese migrants after they attempted to enter Vietnam last Friday, at a site 54 kilometers away from a gunfight that left two guards and five Chinese migrants dead.
It remains unclear which event unfolded first, but the news adds a strange twist to the violent and terrible events.
An anonymous source at the Tra Co Border Station in Quang Ninh’s Mong Cai Town told Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper that they suspect the 21 migrants have some connection to the violent group.
The source said the arrests were made based on information, provided by Chinese border guards, that 21 migrants would attempt to enter Vietnam by sea.
The two agencies cooperated on the group's interception and arrest.
The Tra Co Border Station lies some 54 kilometers (33.5 miles) from the Bac Phong Sinh Border Gate in the northern province of Quang Ninh, where a gunfight broke out the same day, killing seven people.
The shooting took place after Vietnamese border guards arrested a group of 16 illegal Chinese migrants, including four women and two children.
While Vietnamese officers filled out paperwork related to the group's return to China, several of the migrants seized an AK-47 rifle from a Vietnamese officer and opened fire.
Major Nguyen Minh Dai, 43, who was acting as a translator, and Junior Lieutenant Le Vu Viet Khanh, 24, a police dog handler, were killed on the spot.
Five Chinese men died in the shooting; some apparently committed suicide by leaping out of windows.
The remains of the dead and the 11 survivors, including the women and children, were returned to Chinese forces later that day.
Colonel Thanh said that Chinese authorities will investigate the matter in accordance with the two countries’ cooperative agreements on border protection.
Quang Ninh borders Guangxi Province in China.
On April 19, the Quang Ninh High Command held a memorial service for their fallen comrades. A Chinese delegation of border guards attended the ceremony, during which both men were posthumously promoted--Dai to lieutenant colonel and Khanh to lieutenant.
Several days before the incident, Khanh’s wife gave birth to a daughter. He died one day before he was to be transferred from Bac Phong Sinh to the Mong Cai Border Gate.
Dai has four children, including a pair of one year old twins.
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