Fighting buffalo attacks captors in northern Vietnam, two injured

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A buffalo forced into kill-or-be-killed gladiatorial combat for the macabre pleasure of human onlookers struck back at its oppressors Friday, breaking its rope and rampaging through the crowd at a buffalo fight.


Two people were left in critical condition after the bull butted them with its horns at the Do Son Festival in the northern port city of Hai Phong. Tuoi Tre reported Saturday that three others were left slightly hurt in the commotion.


The Do Son Festival boasts Vietnam's most famous buffalo fights, which were interrupted in the second round when the angry bull broke its rope and rushed the crowd.


The bull's horns speared through the knee of Le Van Liem, 47, and the animal also stabbed the lower abdomen of 37-year-old Bui Van Dong, according to eyewitnesses.


Buffalo insurance bought by Dinh Dinh Xuan, the renegade animal's owner, would pay for the victims' medical treatment, said Hoang Trung Hieu, vice chairman of Do Son District's People's Committee.


Hieu added that the festival's organizers would also help pay the injured's hospital bills.


The annual festival is held in the town of Do Son to worship the local water god and showcase the region's culture.


Thousands of people congregate for the event every year to take part in the festival's many activities, including a local culinary festival, a fireworks display, and dragon boat racing.


The buffalo fights are said to represent the fighting spirit of Do Son people.


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