Police in the central province of Binh Thuan on Wednesday arrested six people who fought and injured several officers during a public protest against a polluting power plant in April.
A police statement called them “vandals” who took advantage of the chaos to fight officers on duty and damage the property of a nearby hotel.
Thousands of people in the province started a 30-hour protest on April 14 outside Vinh Tan 2 thermal power plant after strong winds blew an unusually large amount of coal dust from the plant into their neighborhood.
The residents flocked to National Highway 1 outside the plant, causing severe traffic congestion extending 20 kilometers on the highway.
Police said there were clashes between people and officers who tried to move them away from the road.
They said 17 officers were injured from the reactions of some “extreme” protesters.
A technology official in the province said the company has started to produce bricks from coal slag discharged by the plant to reduce pollution.
The plant dumped coal slag into a 15.3-hectare landfill but when it’s dry, it can send dust all over the area.