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Riots in Saigon

June 15, 1963 - Angry youths in a Buddhist mob clashed with the police for 45 minutes in Saigon today before tear gas routed the rioters. A Buddhist crowd of 10,000 or more tried to get through a police cordon to the main Xa Loi pagoda, where the body of an aged monk who killed himself in a fiery public protest Tuesday (pictured) lay in state. About 300 youths spearheaded the throng. Many appeared to have been injured in the fighting, and a number were arrested and held by South Vietnamese authorities. Buddhist authorities had called off a planned funeral procession for the dead monk in an effort to avoid outbreaks. The thousands of Buddhists who had gathered for the funeral procession were angered at the cancellation. The “advance guard” of youth began throwing shoes and sandals and then rocks at the police guard near the pagoda. Hand-to-hand and group fighting raged briefly. Some shots were heard, and at least one man was wounded by a police bullet. Then police reinforcements arrived, and fire trucks came up. Tear-gas grenades and streams from fire hoses broke up the crowd.


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