Three Killed After Confronting Dog Thieves in Vietnam

A seller of dog meat eats at her market stall in Hanoi, Vietnam, 20 September 2012. Dog meat in Vietnam is widely consumed and by many considered a speciality. EPA/BARBARA WALTON

HANOI (DPA) — Three men were shot dead at the weekend after pursuing a group of suspected dog thieves, police in Ho Chi Minh City said Monday.

The three men, all neighbours from Cu Chi District on the outskirts of the city, were killed Saturday evening while chasing four men they believed responsible for a spate of dog thefts in their area, said local police chief Phan Van Thiet.

Dog thieves often use home-made guns to shoot the dogs, and have also used them to shoot at people, police said.

"Villagers are angry because thieves have stolen many dogs in the village recently," he said, adding six people have been arrested over three separate cases.

Dog meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam. Restaurants specializing in barbecued dog are popular at the end of each lunar month, when people believe eating the meat will bring them good luck.

The animals can be sold for around 35 dollars, according to local media.