Vietnamese villagers block traffic to protest pollution

AP News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2015 12:02 AM

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Hundreds of villagers in central Vietnam blocked traffic on the country's main artery for hours to protest pollution from a coal-fired thermo power plant, a local official said Thursday.

Nguyen Thanh Sang in Binh Thuan province said Thursday that the villagers threw rocks, bricks and gasoline bombs at riot police who were trying to direct traffic Wednesday night. About 10 policemen suffered minor injuries.

Sang said the 500 protesters left after authorities said their concerns will be addressed, adding traffic on Highway 1 was running early Thursday morning.

Tens of thousands of vehicles had stood still on dozens of kilometers on Highway 1 for hours, he said.

Sang quoted the villagers as saying they blocked traffic to get attention from the central government after repeated demands in the past were not met.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai urged the power plant and relevant agencies to control pollution from the plant, the government said on its website Thursday.

Two turbines at the nine-turbine Vinh Tan 2 power plant went into operation a year ago.

Many power plants have been built in Vietnam in recent years to meet its power demands that are increasing by more than 10 percent a year.