One of Monday's attackers was seeking revenge for the firing of his wife, said Colonel Mai Trong Tan, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Police department for social order crimes.

Police said the intended victim of the attack was Bui Ngo Thi My, 51, head of the Phu Nhuan District Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Suspect Nguyen Trong Nhan, 30, told police his wife had recently been fired from her job at the department.

Nhan and a friend, Luong Hoai, 20, are accused of waiting outside My's house until she appeared with her superior, Dang Thu Hong, 47, deputy head of the Phu Nhuan District Communist Party.

Police said Nhan and Hoai chased My and Hong into the house and stabbed My repeatedly. When Hong called for help, Nhan was accused of slitting her throat, killing her.

When My's 23-year-old daughter, living upstairs, shouted for help, Nhan and Hoai cut her throat as well, police charged.

The suspects tried to flee, but neighbors and police had surrounded the building, and both were arrested at the scene.

According to the online newspaper Dan Tri, doctors at Cho Ray Hospital said My and her daughter were in stable condition.

Tan said the men would be charged with murder and would likely face the death penalty if convicted.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - September 21, 2010