15 injured as bomb goes off in Hanoi failed gold-shop heist

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A handmade bomb exploded during a botched attempt to rob a jewelry shop in Hanoi Thursday noon, injuring 15 people, including shop staff and passers-by.

The police have taken in a suspect, 25-year-old Ta Van Thanh, for attempted murder and robbery, Col Dao Thanh Hai, director of the Hanoi Criminal Police Department, told the media later that afternoon.

The police said Thanh entered Hoang Tin Gold Shop on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street with a bomb in a plastic bag, a knife, and a taser.

He gave the shop owner, Vu Hai Duong, a piece of paper that said "I just need money, don't touch this bag."

Duong, pretending to ask Thanh how much money he needed, grabbed the bag and threw it out of his shop and shouted for help.

Thanh fled immediately. As some employees of a cosmetics shop next door chased him, the bomb exploded.

Ta Van Thanh

The blast broke the glass windows of a truck passing by, sending shards of glass into the face and left eye of the driver.

Fortunately for some passers-by, the vehicle shielded them from the blast, possibly saving their lives.

In the gold shop, all the glass windows and furniture on the first floor were badly damaged. A woman employee named Trinh Thi Dao and four female employees of the cosmetics shop were also injured.

Thanh, who attempted to escape through the roofs of neighboring houses, was arrested in an alley 20 minutes after the explosion.

Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Dr Nguyen Cong To, deputy director of St Paul Hospital in Hanoi, as saying that 15 people injured in the explosion were admitted to his hospital.

Four of them was discharged the same day, while the others are being treated for head injuries and burns, he said. Most of them are temporarily deaf, he added.

Hai said Thanh, who is from Bac Giang Province, made the bomb out of four kilograms of explosives and an industrial detonator.

Thanh told the police he attempted the robbery because of his desperate poverty.

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