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Nearly 6,000 Taiwanese back home from Vietnam after riots

TAIPEI--Nearly 6,000 Taiwanese nationals have safely returned from Vietnam following the riots that erupted in southern Vietnam Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior said Friday.

As of noon Friday, a total of 5,760 Taiwanese citizens are back in Taiwan, nearly two dozen of whom were traveling without even a passport as they fled anti-Chinese protests in Binh Duong province that turned violent Monday, the ministry said in a statement.

Taiwanese officials have been stationed at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport to help Taiwanese nationals return home, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's representative office in Ho Chi Minh City said it has two buses on standby in Binh Duong to carry Taiwanese citizens to the airport at anytime.

The interior ministry's National Immigration Agency has contacted Vietnamese authorities to demand appropriate protections for Taiwanese citizens remaining in the country, the ministry said.

The riots erupted in Binh Duong, north of Ho Chi Minh City, after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi regards as its exclusive economic zone.

Taiwan's economics ministry gave preliminary figures that indicated over 100 Taiwanese-run factories in Binh Duong were broken into during the riots, including around a dozen that had been set ablaze.

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A Vietnamese worker stands at the door of a shoe factory as operations continued to be suspended there yesterday amid riots in the Vietnamese province of Bihn Durong. The worker said he hopes work can resume as soon as possible.(CNA)

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