At least 60 demonstrators were reported hurt, 10 seriously, in a two-hour battle in Saigon on Thursday (31 October) between supporters of a largely Catholic anti-corruption movement and hundreds of policemen.
SVs Demonstrators in streets (2 shots)
SV Combat police with batons and shields attacking
SV & CU Secret police drag demonstrator to roadside and hit him (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators throwing stones
LV Jeep being burned
SV & CU Injured carried by supporters (2 shots)
SV Injured Lower House Deputy being carried
SV & GV Demonstrators marching (2 shots)
GV Police at barricades stop demonstrators (2 shots)
GV & SV Demonstrators throw stones and police chase them (2 shots)
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Background: At least 60 demonstrators were reported hurt, 10 seriously, in a two-hour battle in Saigon on Thursday (31 October) between supporters of a largely Catholic anti-corruption movement and hundreds of policemen.
The trouble flared after civilian and military police surrounded a suburban church to stop the leaders of the movement from joining some 6000 of their supporters more than half a mile away in a march to the city cehbrs.
Among the injured were priests and Lower House Deputies.
President Thieu has been trying to placate his opponents by reshuffling his Government and firing those singled out as most corrupt. He's also premised a complete review of the armed forced.
SYNOPSIS: Widespread violence erupted in the streets of Saigon on Thursday when supporters of a largely Catholic anti-corruption movement clashed with police. Combat police, who'd shown straints during earlier demonstrations met force with force this time. Hundreds of demonstrators tried to storm police lines blacking the intended route of their protest march to the centre of the city.
It appeared several times they were on the verge of success -- especially when they pushed through the barriedier and burned a jeep. Each side soon has casualties. There were more than including Lower House Deputies who'd been beaten by secret policemen. One group of war veterans and Vietnamese politicians marched to within a few blocks of the National Assembly. They were confronted with barbed wire barricades and a large contingent of police.
Finally they gave up and left. meanwhile the violence continued to escalate around a Catholic Church on the edge of Saigon. The protestors called in reinforcements from nearby parishes who joined the fight willingly. It went on until leaders finally cancelled the march, to prevent more injuries. President Thieu had tried to placate his opponents by reshuffling his Government and firing these singled out as most corrupt. That hasn't worked so now he's cracking down. And that almost certainly means more violence in the streets.