The Lam Dong Province police Sunday said it is questioning five people for allegedly killing a park ranger and seriously injuring two others who tried to stop them from illegal logging on August 8.
They are Mo Bon Ha Hoang, 40, his son Lieng Hot Ha Long, 17, Lieng Hot Ha Jek, 21, Lo Mu Ha Chan, 33, and K’Long Ha Hen, 22, of Hang Hot village in Lam Ha District.
Ranger Nguyen Ai Tinh, 49, died of a slash to his neck during a clash with illegal loggers while two of his colleagues have been hospitalized with severe injuries.
Investigators said Tinh’s team confronted a group of people cutting down pine trees in a protected area, and the group called around 100 others to come over with sticks and other weapons.
The rangers requested backup, but Tinh died soon after police arrived.
On August 13 some 200 police officers, militiamen and park rangers were mobilized to take in the five suspects from their village. Several of them were injured as villagers opposing the arrest threw stones at them.
The police are in the process of identifying the stone throwers.
According to the agriculture ministry, Vietnam has lost a total of 2,689 hectares (6,644 acres) of forest so far this year, including 694 hectares to illegal logging.