US Ambassador said he is ready to work with Vietnam to clarify shooting in Dak Lak

US Ambassador to Hanoi Marc Knapper during a press conference at the US Embassy in Hanoi on July 25, 2023

The US ambassador to Vietnam said he condemned the attack on two communal People’s Committee offices in Dak Lak last month, adding that the US is ready to work with the Vietnamese government to clarify the incident.

Ambassador Marc Knapper made this statement on July 24 during a meeting with state media at the US Embassy in Hanoi on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership between the two countries.

On this occasion, according to a report by Vietnam’s state-controlled media, a reporter asked US Ambassador Marc Knapper about the shooting incident at two communes in Cu Kuin district in Dak Lak province at dawn on June 11.

Vietnam’s state-controlled media quoted US Ambassador Marc Knapper as saying that he “condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms.” As for the news from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, one of the suspects in the shooting in Dak Lak is a member of an organization based in the United States; Ambassador Marc Knapper was quoted as “willing to work with the Government of Vietnam to clarify what is behind the incident.”

At dawn on June 11, two groups of about 40 people armed with guns and knives reportedly attacked the headquarters of two communes Ea Tieu and Ea Ktur, Cu Kuin district, Dak Lak province. This is a province bordering with Mondulkiri province of Cambodia.

The attack reportedly left nine people dead including four policemen, two commune officials and three villagers. There were also three civilians held hostage, one of them freed himself, the other two were later freed.

On July 21, the Director of the Dak Lak Provincial Police Department, Major General Le Vinh Quy, announced that the functional forces had arrested all six people who were particularly wanted for participating in the shooting incident.

After the shooting, some Vietnamese officials suggested that there were foreign organizations behind the attack. The ministry prosecuted the case of “terrorism aimed at opposing the People’s Government, concealing crimes, failing to report crimes, and organizing-brokering for others to leave the country.”

To date, nearly 100 people have been arrested on charges of participating in the shooting.

Montagnard organizations abroad interviewed by RFA insist they have nothing to do with the attack and have condemned the use of violence. (Translated)