Police in the northern province of Thai Binh on Monday rescued a college student held hostage for two hours by a stranger who also threatened to burn her alive.
Initial investigation found that Nguyen Van Duc, 21, a recently discharged military man, came to the college on Monday morning in uniform. He reportedly asked a guard to let him in, claiming that he needed to see his girlfriend studying there.
The guard asked him to leave. But he took out a knife and held a female student hostage at knifepoint.
He then pulled her into the schoolyard and poured gasoline that he carried with him onto her and himself. The man then threatened to set them both on fire if he did not get to see his girlfriend.
Police and military officers arrived at the scene.
After two hours, they secretly approached him and knocked him down.
He tried to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the chest, but was saved by doctors.
The frightened 19-year-old victim was treated for minor scratches.
Colonel Hoang Van So from Ninh Thuan Province in central Vietnam said Duc joined his unit in September last year but after a month he started to show signs of schizophrenia.
He received treatment but he was not better after four months, so they discharged him last January.
The girl who he claimed to be his girlfriend said they never had a relationship. She said they just went to the same high school.