Five arrested in attack on pollution protestor in central Vietnam

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Police in the central city of Da Nang have arrested five people whose attack on a man leading protests against a real estate developer sparked public outrage and led to more violence.

Nguyen Van Son, head of Da Nang police, said the five men, all employees of the Trung Nam Group, turned themselves in at Hoa Vang District's police station.

The men said that on August 29, they got into two cars and went to the house of Nguyen Van Tuan, 40, and beat him up with clubs and swords.

Tuan and several other locals had stopped the group's trucks carrying soil and rocks in protest against the serious pollution suffered by surrounding villages.

Son said the group has surrendered the cars to the police for further investigation.

In a report Friday, Tuoi Tre quoted Nguyen Van Bon, chief of Hoa Vang District's police division, as saying that Tuan, who survived several injuries, is now undergoing a general examination to determine the extent of his injuries.

Whatever the nature of the injuries, police will seek criminal charges against the suspects, because they had used dangerous weapons and committed crimes, Bon told the newspaper.

In the meantime, the city's authorities have decided to fine Trung Nam VND55 million (US$2,640) for causing serious pollution to the area surrounding the $1.67 billion Golden Hills project, which covers 400 hectares in Hoa Lien Commune.

On Tuesday, following the attack on Tuan, hundreds of residents broke into the office of Trung Nam Group, breaking glass doors and windows of the office.

Trung Nam's representative claimed that they had damaged property worth around $96,000.

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