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160 junkies break out of southern Vietnam rehab center

Monday, November 07, 2016, 13:16 GMT+7

A rehab center in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai has been on red alert since over 160 drug addicts stirred up chaos and broke out of the venue on Sunday.

About 163 drug users destroyed property before escaping from the Dong Nai Rehabilitation Center, located in Xuan Phu Commune, Xuan Loc District, before running loose on National Highway 1.

Several aggressive drug abusers provoked their fellow addicts to escape, said Ho Van Loc, deputy director of the provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

According to a detention officer at the center, the rioters damaged their rooms, the facility’s infirmary, stole many types of medicine, and tore up multiple documents.

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An escapee climbs up a light post in Dong Nai Province on November 6, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Police officers, in coordination with relevant agencies and family members of the rebels, had managed to bring nearly 60 escapees back to the facility by 6:00 pm on the same day.

Some of the runaways cited homesickness and insufficient food at the center as reasons for their breakout.

A source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said that three drug addicts, namely Vo Dinh Huan, Le Huy Hoang, and Tran Ngoc Dung, had been arrested by police officers.

Some 562 patients broke out of the same rehab center on October 23, of whom 80 remain missing.  

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A wall at the rehab center was destroyed by the rioters. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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The addicts broke glass and stole medicine from the facility’s infirmary. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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An office at the venue was damaged by the rebels. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Rubbish littered the ground following the chaos caused by the escapees. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Drug addicts are seen being brought back to the rehab center. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The riot continued on Monday morning as hundreds of patients climbed on the roofs of the houses in the center, complaining about the long rehab period and demanding freedom.

Some addicts attempted to rush out of the main gate and threw hard objects at police officers, forcing them to use gas bombs to keep the situation under control following unsuccessful efforts to convince the junkies.

The rebellion eventually stopped at around 11:00 am on Monday.

According to a leader in Xuan Loc District, the drug abusers have been incited for several days with competent authorities failing to persuade them.

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The drug addicts assemble to demand their early release at the rehab center on the morning of November 7, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Police officers try to keep the incident under control. Photo: Tuoi Tre 

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