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Vietnam detains 100 after protests turn violent

AFP  |  Hanoi 

Authorities in have detained more than 100 people after protesters pelted government buildings with rocks and Molotov cocktails, injuring dozens of police officers, reported today.

The rare demonstrations Sunday took place in several parts of the country in response to legislation on three special economic zones that would grant 99-year leases to companies, stoking fears the deals would go to Chinese firms amid tensions over disputed territory in the Sea.

One of the biggest turnouts was in the southeast coastal province of Binh Thuan, where hundreds gathered in front of the Headquarters in Phan Thiet on Sunday, lobbing rocks and petrol

Authorities said 102 people in the city were detained and property was damaged, according to state-controlled VnExpress.

"We are still investigating and classifying those people to handle in accordance with the law," told the site.

Nhieu also said that dozens of police officers sustained but there were no deaths, shutting down rumours that had spread on

The figures could not be independently confirmed.

Earlier on Sunday, protesters in Tuy Phong district of the same province confronted police and blocked traffic.

"At first, I saw (the protesters) throw water bottles and fruit for a while. After that, someone brought rocks in to throw at the police," local resident told AFP via telephone.

Public displays of dissent are rare in the one-party state, where a conservative leadership in place since 2016 has taken a more aggressive stance against activists.

But mounting frustration has pushed the government to slow down the legislation's progress.

on Monday agreed to delay approval of the on special economic zones to the end of the year, while the of the parliament Nguyen Thi called on people to stay calm and that their opinions "will always be heard".

told that the government would seek to reduce the period of the leases, but he did not say by how much.

The demonstrations, which also took aim at a proposed due in parliament this week, are some of the largest since 2016, when nationwide protests erupted after a firm dumped toxic waste that killed tonnes of fish along the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 15:15 IST