5 May 2011

Autonomy wanted in remote part of Vietnam

6:38 am on 5 May 2011

In a rare outbreak of unrest, thousands of ethnic Hmong people in Vietnam are holding a protest calling for autonomy.

A district administrator in Dien Bien told the BBC that the protesters had kidnapped a group of officials during the unrest.

Soldiers have been drafted in from neighbouring areas in the remote province.

The Hmong people are mostly Christians. The BBC reports their demands include more religious freedom, better land rights and more autonomy.

The Dien Bien region is one of Vietnam's poorest areas. It is also remote and mountainous, making it difficult to verify reports.