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Police hunt for 60 escaped drug addicts in Vietnam

Associated Press Associated Press 7/11/2016

HANOI, Vietnam — Police in southern Vietnam are searching for 60 drug addicts who escaped from a rehabilitation center, an official said Monday.

Ho Van Loc, deputy director of the labor department in Dong Nai province, said 133 inmates burned their clothes and other belongings before escaping from the center Sunday. Authorities have so far recaptured 73 of them.

Loc said the inmates continued to pressure authorities Monday to allow them to get out, throwing rocks, pans and pots at police who had been stationed around the center since Sunday trying to keep order.

State media said police had to use tear gas to bring them under control.

Loc said several inmates who were suspected of starting the unrest have been detained for questioning.

Last month, 562 inmates from the same center, which holds 1,481 inmates, escaped.

Officials have said that rehabilitation programs in Vietnam — which combine education, communist ideology and physical labor for one to two years — have a high failure rate, with more than 90 percent of the addicts relapsing within five years.

There are an estimated 200,000 drug addicts in Vietnam, many of them heroin users.

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