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Monday, 31 July, 2000, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Bomb blast in Laos capital
vientiane street
There have been at least six bomb blasts in Laos recently
By regional correspondent Damian Grammaticas

Seven people have been injured, three of them seriously, by a bomb explosion in the Laotian capital, Vientiane.

laos map
The blast happened at the city's main post office. It is believed the device was hidden in a package.

There have been a series of bombs in Laos in recent months and numerous clashes have been reported between ethnic insurgents and the Laotian army.

People shopping in Vientiane's Morning Market, near the post office, heard a powerful explosion at around 11 o'clock in the morning.

Police and soldiers immediately sealed off the area.

On Sunday a bomb was defused after it was found hidden in a toilet in Vientiane's international airport and another device was apparently found in the grounds of the Vietnamese embassy.

Tourists

There have now been at least six bomb attacks in Laos in the past four months.

laos airport
A device was found at Vientiane airport
One of the explosions was in a tourist restaurant and injured at least nine foreign visitors.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the bombings.

However it is thought they could be related to business disputes or divisions within the military or the communist government that took power in 1975.

Meanwhile fighters from the Hmong ethnic group have recently stepped up their long-running insurgency.

They have launched attacks from bases in the jungles in central and northern Laos. Numerous clashes have also been reported with the army.

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03 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Five dead in Laos border clash
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