Villagers hold police officers captive outside Hanoi

More than 30 people, including members of a flying police unit, have been held hostage since Saturday

Hanoi administrators are calling on residents of a village outside the Vietnamese capital to remain calm and cooperate with authorities, after they took more than two dozen law enforcement officers hostage during a protest on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, the propaganda and education commission under the Hanoi Party Committee released an official statement on the disturbance in Dong Tam Commune in My Duc District, 30km from the centre of the city.

According to the document, residents with limited legal knowledge had obstructed on-duty police officers and held them captive over weekend.

More than 30 people, including members of a flying police unit, have been held at the commune’s culture house since Saturday afternoon, according to VnExpress.

The Hanoi propaganda and education commission said that the law enforcement officers had come to My Duc to resolve a prolonged situation whereby locals were illegally occupying land zoned for military purposes.

Hanoi authorities have exhausted all channels in trying to create a dialogue with local residents, however the situation has only become increasingly complicated.

The capital’s police eventually launched an official investigation into the “public disorder” case on March 30, which resulted in the arrest of four local villagers on Saturday.

Villagers vehemently protested the arrests, leading to several officers being held hostage.

“Different measures are underway to restore order in Dong Tam,” the document reads.

Hanoi authorities have demanded that local residents stay calm and cooperate with police, and called on those holding the law enforcement officers hostage to release them immediately.

The four My Duc residents who were arrested have agreed to cooperate with authorities in an attempt to stabilize the situation and ensure the safety of villagers, according to the Hanoi Party Committee.

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