Two forest rangers from a national park in the Central Highlands were hospitalized after their team was attacked by more than 60 armed illegal loggers on Saturday night.
Dong Quoc Manh and Vo Van Nguyen suffered multiple injuries and were still under hospital care as of Monday.
The loggers came from the Serepok River and broke into the Yok Don national park station in Dak Lak Province. There were nine rangers in the station at the time of attack.
The attackers destroyed furniture at the station and fled when local police arrived at the scene.
Initial information is that many people among the attackers were local residents. Investigat
Investigations suggest that the attack sought to avenge an earlier seizure of more than 20 cubic meters of woodthe loggers.
Illegal loggers have a long history of attacking forest rangers, especially in the central and Central Highlands regions.
Forest wardens in the regions are finding it increasingly difficult to perform their duties, since they are understaffed and ill-equipped to deal with the increasing violence.
According to the Central Forest Protection Department, 1,747 hectares of forest were illegally chopped down last year and more than 46,800 cubic meters of poached timber was seized by authorities.
The country has a total of 13.26 million hectares of forest, including 10.34 million hectares of primitive forest"”the rest is planted. Of the total area, the forest cover fluctuates between 38-39 percent, with small gains between 2005-2009, the department reported.