Viet Nam News
TUYÊN QUANG — Police in Sơn Dương District, in northern Tuyên Quang Province, have identified two people accused of attacking a Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reporter while they were carrying out their duties.
The attackers were named as Bàn Xuân Trường and his younger brother Bàn Văn Hiếu, who are residents of Sơn Dương District’s Lương Thiện Commune, according to the police on Monday.
On Saturday, VNA resident correspondent Nguyễn Văn Tý and a colleague from another newspaper arrived in Tân Tiến Village to report on the illegal exploitation of lead and zinc ore in a local resident’s garden.
As they were shooting video and taking photographs, Trường, also the homeowner, confronted the reporters and asked them to delete the images.
When the journalists refused, Trường allegedly chased the reporter and hit him with a rock hammer. When Tý and his colleague tried to leave, Trường and another man gave chase and threw stones at the two reporters. They escaped the scene thanks to help from local residents.
After the incident, Tý reported the case to both VNA and the local authorities. Sơn Dương District police sent a team to the area and confiscated 140 packs of illegally-exploited ore and fuses suspected to be used for explosives. The police also implemented measures to protect the two reporters.
On investigating Trường’s house and garden, the police found an 8m-deep well with a diametre of 1m and discovered and seized 6.8 tonnes of ore. Police sent samples of the ore to relevant agencies for testing to identify the type of minerals.
According to local reports, illegal ore mining has been going on for a long time, with explosives causing cracks in people’s houses and endangering lives.
The case is under further investigation. Senior management at the VNA condemned the attack and asked local authorities to take action to protect journalists carrying out their duties. — VNS