Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam border guard opens fire on colleagues before shooting himself

Vietnam border guard opens fire on colleagues before shooting himself

Vietnam border guard opens fire on colleagues before shooting himself

A Vietnamese border guard open fire and injured three people at his patrol station before killing himself on Saturday, state media reported in the communist country where gun violence is extremely rare.

Civilians are banned from owning guns in Vietnam, where a vast police force and soldiers are among the few officials with access to weapons.

On Saturday, a border guard in Long An province near Cambodia opened fire at his post injuring two colleagues and a local resident, according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

The shooter holed himself up at the post in Binh Hiep commune before committing suicide, VNA said, identifying him as second lieutenant Ta Quang Dat.

“Dat had shown recent signs of psychological disorder and he just returned from treatment,” VNA reported.

Some unverified media reports said one of the injured victims later died in hospital.

Roads were blocked around the crime scene and local residents were evacuated from the area.

A local official requesting anonymity said earlier “authorities were working at the scene”, without providing further details.

Dangerous crimes are uncommon in Vietnam, though in recent years a small number of high-profile incidents have chilled the country.

In 2016 a forest ranger shot and killed two provincial officials in northern Yen Bai province before turning the gun on himself.

And last year a pipe bomb tore through a police station in southern Ho Chi Minh City, which officials later said was a politically motivated crime carried out by “terrorists”.

Vietnam’s lengthy and porous land border – which abuts Cambodia, Laos and China – is manned by soldiers in patrol posts.

There are 450,000 active duty soldiers in Vietnam, along with a five million strong reserve force, according to the Defence Ministry.

Mental health care largely lags in Vietnam, where specialised treatment centres are rare and social taboos abound.


  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said