ANOTHER BOMB EXPLODES IN LAOS


2004.02.06
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Second bomb in three days, no casualties confirmed

BANGKOK�Another bomb has exploded in Laos at a busy market in southern Savannakhet Province, RFA�s Lao service reports.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 6, a bomb exploded in the restroom of a busy market in Khanthaboury district of southern Laos� Savannakhet Province. No deaths or injuries have been confirmed.

�It�s very fortunate that nobody was in the restroom at the time [of the blast],� a Khanthaboury district security official who spoke with RFA on condition of anonymity said. �There were no injuries, and the blast was so powerful it destroyed part of the restroom. The noise of the explosion sent people running from the market because they didn�t know where the blast had come from.�

�From our investigation, we have initially concluded that this was the work of people with bad intentions who want to scare people and create havoc in Laos,� the official said.

Authorities are still conducting an investigation to find the people responsible for the blast.

A similar explosion took place at the same Khanthaboury district market on Oct. 19. The police attributed the blast to a dispute between business rivals.

On Feb. 4, a bomb exploded near the Patouxay monument in the Lao capital Vientiane, with no confirmed casualties. A Lao official who spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity said it was a time-bomb explosion, which came during a high-profile meeting in Vientiane of tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN countries along with China, Japan, and South Korea. Hours after RFA�s initial reporting on the blast, two official Lao newspapers quoted Lao security officials who claimed the noise caused by firecrackers set off by delinquent children. #####

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