A forest ranger lost his arm while trying to stop the transportation of illegally logged timber in the northwestern province of Lai Chau last Thursday, the online newspaper VnExpress reported Sunday.
Sung A Chanh, 27, of Phong Tho District's Forest Management Office is being treated at Lai Chau General Hospital with multiple injuries.
On the evening of July 5, Chanh and a police officer named Him were informed that a man was transporting illegally logged timber via motorbike through a checkpoint in Lan Nhi Thang Commune.
Chanh and Him stopped the man and ordered him to declare his name and address.
The man refused, making a phone call instead.
Shortly afterward, two men showed up with knives and hammers. They cut off the ropes fastening the timber behind the motorbike with the apparent intention to flee the scene.
As Him tried to stop them, they threatened him with a knife. When Chanh approached them to stop, one of the men smashed the back of his head with a hammer.
After Chanh collapsed, the other man stabbed him in the face and hacked his right arm with a knife.
His arm was severed after three blows.
When nearby residents rushed to the site, the three men jumped on the bike and drove away, leaving the timber behind.
According to Chanh and Him, the original culprit is a resident of Lan Nhi Thang Commune who regularly transported timber as a hired job.
The two men may come from other communes, they said.
Police are searching for all three men.