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Ex-soldier suspected

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2003--Lao police have arrested a former soldier in connection with an unusual pre-dawn grenade attack that wounded three police officers, one of them critically, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.

Police were following a man in the Lao capital, Vientiane, at around 2 a.m. on June 6, according to a Lao official who spoke on condition of anonymity. When they ordered the man to stop so he could be searched, he allegedly threw a hand grenade at them. The grenade exploded, injuring three officers, the source told RFA's Lao service.

The man was later arrested and revealed under questioning that he was a former soldier in the Lao People�s Revolutionary Army. No further information was available. Possible motives remain unclear, but the attack recalls a series of 14 bombings in Laos from 2000-2001 in which four people were killed and more than 40 injured. No one claimed responsibility for those attacks, which remain unsolved.

RFA broadcasts news and information to Asian listeners who lack regular access to full and balanced reporting in their domestic media. Through its broadcasts and call-in programs, RFA aims to fill a critical gap in the lives of people across Asia. Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest standards of journalism and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.


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