Man arrested for bike bomb murder in northern Vietnam

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Police in the northern province of Bac Ninh Saturday announced that they have arrested a man for allegedly killing his sister-in-law and her daughter in a high-profile vehicular explosion last year.

Colonel Nguyen Cong Nghiep, vice chief of Bac Ninh police, said at a press conference that day that Nguyen Duc Tiem, 34, was arrested Thursday.

The arrest happened more than one month after Nguyen Thi Quynh, 30, and her four-year-old Nguyen Khanh Van were killed when the motorbike they were riding exploded.

"The suspect has admitted to his doings and we are now investigating him on murder charges," Nghiep said.

Colonel Nguyen Dang Loi, director of Bac Ninh's police division, said they reproduced the crime scene on Friday.

The way Tiem set up the explosives was very "skillful," despite the fact that he graduated from university with foreign language as his major, the official said.

Initial information was that conflicts arose as soon Tiem and his wife Nguyen Thi Hoi moved next door to Quynh and her husband in 2010.

On November 11 he set up explosives in Quynh's bike which would detonate when she used the brake, police said

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According to Loi, they used to record cases in which criminals set up explosives which would ignite when victims started their bikes, but Tiem set up it so that it would explode when the brake was used.

This means the explosion would happen when Quynh was already on the bike, he stressed.

"It proved that the suspect had made careful calculations, using ruthless and sophisticated tricks," he said.

Asked about Tiem's reasons for killing Quynh and her daughter, Loi attributed it to trivial daily conflicts in which hostilities accumulated over a long period of time.

He said their experiences showed them that people with "violent" natures would kill a person over petty grievances.

"Although Tiem is educated, since he graduated from university he hasn't found a steady job and accommodation; this abnormal life led him to acquire a violent disposition," the director said.

In fact, it has also been alleged that Tiem rigged the bike of his close friend, 30-year-old Le Duc Trung, to explode on June 18, 2010, because he suspected Trung of having an affair with his wife.

The explosion, which took place in the northern province of Hai Duong, took Trung's left leg and is still being investigated by local police, according to Bac Ninh's police. They said they will handle both cases if they are granted permission by Hai Duong's police.

In the meantime, Nguyen Duc Que, Quynh's husband, told Thanh Nien that he couldn't explain the reasons why Tiem killed his wife and daughter, because he didn't know if there were any conflicts between Tiem and Quynh. He said he had no conflicts with Tiem, who was "quite nice."

Many of Tiem's neighbors said he was not socially open and that they had never seen any conflicts between his family and Quynh's.

On December 1, Quynh's Super Dream motorbike exploded right after she left home to take Van to school. The woman, who was three months pregnant, died soon after arriving at the hospital. 

Van went into a coma with severe burns and multiple wounds. The girl was later transferred to the National Institute of Burns on December 8 after having her left foot amputated. She died five days later.

At first the explosion was suspected of being related to technical problems, similar to tens of vehicular fires that have occurred in Vietnam since last year. However, on December 21, Bac Ninh's police launched investigations into the case after criminal signs were found, including the traces of explosives.

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