Vietnamese authorities have arrested over 50 individuals in the Central Highlands region who are believed to be connected to the recent attacks on commune offices in Dak Lak province.
The coordinated assaults, which occurred on 11 June, resulted in the tragic deaths of nine individuals, including police officers, commune officials, and civilians.
According to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Public Security, those apprehended were described as “young people who harbored delusions and extremist attitudes” and were incited by leaders through online platforms.
The attackers, allegedly numbering around 40, launched an assault on the People’s Committee buildings and police offices in Ea Tieu and Ea Ktur communes in the early hours of the morning. Petrol bombs, grenades, and firearms were reportedly used in the attacks, with the assailants instructed to kill officers and police while seizing their assets and weapons.
The motivation behind the attacks remains unclear, but the Central Highlands region has experienced periodic conflicts between indigenous minority groups, collectively known as Dega or Montagnards, and the central state. These tensions often revolve around land disputes, economic difficulties, and government crackdowns on unregistered evangelical churches.
Human Rights Watch has previously reported on the ongoing religious and political persecution faced by Montagnards, leading to an increasing number seeking asylum in neighboring Cambodia and Thailand.
Authorities are intensifying surveillance measures in response to the attacks, with concerns raised that further incidents could occur in the future.
As the investigation continues, Vietnam hopes to garner international support to solve the case and combat terrorism.