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Wed, Jul 26, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Gold prospectors clash in Vietnam

AFP , HANOIR

umors of a gold find in central Vietnam have triggered violent clashes between hundreds of locals and outside prospectors flocking to the mine site, an official said yesterday.

"Hundreds of people fought last Friday and Saturday," said Ngo Truong Tuan, a people's committee official in the Hoa Vang district on the outskirts of Danang city, adding that some people were wounded.

"The clash took place between those who had been digging for gold and the newcomers," he said.

Police had brought the situation under control and cleared the area, he said, declining to give further details.

The state-controlled Thanh Nien daily reported earlier that local civil police guards were outnumbered by the newcomers and fired shots into the air during one confrontation.

The report also said locals had claimed that the outside "gold gang" had the clandestine support of some local officials, but that police had denied the allegation.

The gold fever was sparked by rumors that a gold digger had found about 12kg of gold last month at the site.

During a recent raid, police had expelled hundreds of unlicensed gold miners, the report said.

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