Drug addicts escape from southern Vietnam rehab center after tobacco riot

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Some of the drug addicts who were brought back to the Binh Phuoc rehabilitation center after escaping Friday night

A drug rehabilitation center in the southern province of Binh Phuoc has apprehended and brought back 77 addicts out of 139 who escaped Friday night.

Security guards said the patients, all men, rioted at around 9:30 p.m., knocking over walls in their bedrooms and the outside fence after their demand for tobacco and more outdoor activities was rejected.

Police officers were summoned, but they could not control the rioters.

Many of the inmates managed to flee into nearby rubber plantations.

Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted local authorities as saying some of them had stolen clothes from local residents to blend into their surroundings, others stole bicycles to flee the area.

The police are spreading out to look for them and have informed their families so that they can persuade the men to return.

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They said the riot leaders face criminal charges while the others would have their rehab extended by three to six months.

The center has 287 drug users, including 34 women. Most were sent there by authorities for a two-year period, though some were brought by their own families.

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