Taiwan’s army commander-in-chief yesterday rushed to Kinmen after a violent altercation involving military personnel and local residents, during which seven soldiers and two officers had been injured.
The director of political warfare at Kinmen Defense Command, Lee Chi-hsiung (李智雄), said one officer, Colonel Chung Chi-yi (鍾吉倚), suffered a hard blow to the head and was in serious condition. He was flown by helicopter to a military hospital in Taipei.
Lee said about eight drunken people were shouting and yelling outside a Kinmen military vehicle repair factory early in the morning, whereupon Chung, a major surnamed Hu (胡) and several soldiers came out of the military base to deal with the matter. The civilians then attacked the military personnel with sticks, Lee said.
Most of the soldiers were hit in the melee, Lee said, and Chung was hit hard on his head, while Hu suffered a fractured left hand.
Chung and Hu were flown to Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, while four soldiers were sent to a hospital in Kinmen and three received medical treatment at the base.
Commander in Chief of the Army General Lee Hsiang-chou (李翔宙) and Deputy Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) arrived on Kinmen at 9am.
Lee Chi-hsiung said Lee Hsiang-chou and Yen were assessing the situation and visited the injured soldiers in hospital.
Lee Chi-hsiung denied a report in the Chinese-language United Evening News that the civilians had entered the base to avenge a soldier surnamed Chang, a native of Kinmen, who was allegedly disciplined by the military the previous day for driving a Humvee in the facility without permission.
Lee Chi-hsiung said the incident took place outside the base and that the civilians involved in the fight were simply inebriated and not seeking vengeance.
The civilians were arrested by the military and handed over to the military police for questioning.